Dan Bodner spent 11 months designing, and re-designing, prototypes for a 3D-printed prosthetic hand for children who need them. He's now ready for his first patient.
Dan Bodner didn't come up with the idea of using a 3D printer to create prosthetic hands for children who need them.
The Oakland man does, however, think he has dramatically improved on the designs that were out there, and his version could help hundreds, even thousands, of children with hand deformities around the world.
"I really feel that the goal is attainable," Dan says.
Dan first heard of the concept of 3D-printed hands last year. "I thought it was so incredibly cool," Dan says, "and I could do that."
Dan's confidence comes from his background in computing (he runs the San Francisco-based outsourced IT firm, Fido Systems), and his life-long passion for tinkering.
Dan bought a 3D printer, downloaded plans for a design others had come up with, and printed his first hand.
He was not impressed.
"It had too many parts, it wasn't stiff and was too bulky," was Dan's review.
He spent the next 11 months modifying the design. "I basically had to start from scratch," Dan says. He was able to reduce the number of parts needed to create the hand from 50 down to six. He made the parts easily replaced if broken. He has also come up with a design at that a user could fit themselves, without needing a professional to help them.