Blake Vilas wins best presentation at UROP Fall Forum for undergraduate research on 3D-printed prosthetic hands

ICS undergrad Blake Vilas won best presentation at the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Fall Forum on Friday, December 12th, for his research:

3D Printed Prosthetic Hands Project in Papua New Guinea

Blake Ryan Vilas
Information and Computer Sciences

The 3D-Printed Prosthetic Hands Project (3DPPHP) aims to bring state-­of-­the‐art technology to the less fortunate, starting with the Wahgi Valley people of the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea – one of the most isolated, violent and poverty-­stricken regions of the world. In this 4,299-­square‐kilometer area live thousands of people who are missing hands due to decades of tribal wars, random acts of violence and other trauma. Leaving approximately two percent of the adult population without at least one hand; barely able to work, let alone care for themselves or their family. Presently 3D printers use biodegradable, environmentally friendly polylactic acid (PLA) and non-­biodegradable acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) filaments which can be printed at resolutions of 100, 200, and 300 microns. PLA filaments are cheaper and do not require as expensive 3D printer to print objects. Research collected is based on detailed compare and contrast analysis of PLA, ABS, and LN-­4 hand prosthetics printed at various micron resolutions. Records show dexterity, flexibility, durability, usability, stress tests, and overall cost effectiveness for each 3D printed and LN-­4 prosthetics with documented results for future projects that will lead to improvement and development of efficient, affordable, and environmentally-­friendly prosthetics.

Mentor: Scott Robertson

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