Ross Dalziel, Patrick Fenner and Adrian McEwen who are permanent deskers at DoES Liverpool are helping facilitate and support a ‘production line’ area in Gallery 1 at FACT, to 3D print open source designs of upper limb prosthetics. The project is inspired by a local family, the Abbotts, who used the DoES workshop to print hand parts independently for their daughter Baylee.
Over the course of the exhibition, FACT Gallery Assistants and DoESLiverpool will assist the public in testing and building 3D printed prosthetics using the open source design for the Raptor Hand. The public will have the opportunity to play, experiment and understand what prosthetics are and how access to rapid prototyping and open source digital making tools can help people make the world the way they want it.
By working with Reach in the NorthWest, the association for children with upper limb deficiency, DoES will be helping a number of children (primarily) from the North-West and, when the exhibition tours, East Anglia where Norwich hackspace are assisting. In addition, the exhibition which tours to Norwich will raise awareness within the Reach community and the general public about some of the uses for 3D printing. It’s worth noting that the Raptor Hand is more of a tool rather than a fully functional prosthetic device and has very limited grip strength. For more details on the design and its suitability click here.
DoESLiverpool, as an organisation, do not work on 'projects' as such; they simply help the community to realise their projects with the facilities on offer. DoES's community is essentially anyone who wants to do something with them. Part of the ‘deal’ of this project is that DoESLiverpool and Norwich Hackspace can keep the new larger 3D printers, Ultimaker 2s, so that if people do need to print more hands in the future at DoESLiverpool, they will have extended their facilities so that people can. If a group grows and develops around the activity in the exhibition then that group can continue to use DoESLiverpool to support it like the many diverse groups that call DoESLiverpool home.
Theproect is being managed on github which DoES hopes will aid Norwich hackspace when they help with their side of the tour.
If you would like to find out more, there are a number of ways that you can get involved. Whether you know someone in need of a prosthesis, or are interested in this community-focused project, the programme of events at FACT is free and open to all:
The DoES Measuring Workshop takes place on Saturday 6 June, for children and families who need to measure their hands for a prosthetic. Places to assist with this workshop are now fully booked.
What’s your Superpower? A Prosthetic Hack! on Saturday 25 July invites you to explore the possibilities of prosthetics, by modifying designs to suit the diverse population.
The Assembly workshops on Saturday 8 and Saturday 22 August are for people who want to assemble and fit the completed printed hands. If you have been measured for a Raptor Hand, this is your chance to help build it. The public are also welcome to come along and take part.
Outside of these workshop dates, you can visit the exhibition and see the hands gradually being printed and finished. This display will be just like what normally happenst at the DoES workshop, but with more context and a visual explanation of the process of building the printed hands for DesktopProsthetics. Gallery assistants will be able to explain the process and show some of the completed parts as they are printed and prepped ready for assembly.
Build Your Own: Tools for Sharing is open at FACT from 4 June. Read the DoES Blog here.