Are you using recycled bottles or bottle caps to make hands?
Free 3D Hands tries to be as environmentally responsible as possible. We do not use PET or other petrochemical plastics as they remain in the environment long term.
We have decided to make all our hands from a biodegradeable plastic called PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) which is derived from corn starch. So all our hands are biodegradable and can be put in the compost, after removing the hinges and finger grips which are made from silicone.
(From a school) Can my students make hands for you to send to people?
Making assistive devices is quite a complicated process, involving back and forth communication, understanding of needs and limitations, as well as being able to scale the device to size, assemble to a required quality and tested thoroughly before being given to a recipient. The service that Mat provides is individualised to each person receiving a device with exact measurements taken. Every recipient that we make a device for becomes an ongoing commitment to continue to make them as they grow rather than a one-off activity.
It is a kind offer, but the confidentiality involved also makes your idea difficult to implement.
Can you make devices for people who affected by stroke, cerebral palsy or other neurological disorders?
No. We only make body powered devices that require controlled and voluntary movement. We may be able to make such devices in the future, but not at this stage.
Have you seen the Lego 3D Hand produced by the teenager?
Yes, thank you for thinking of us. We have seen this interesting use of Lego bricks. We prefer to utilise 3D printing because of the flexibility to scale to the correct size, as well as to contain compex features for tendons and hinges.
Can you give me the instructions to make a Kinetic Finger?
We have plans to make an instruction manual at some stage. At the moment we are snowed under with moving to our new factory, training new volunteers to make the hands and speaking to schools. We will get onto it as soon as possible, along with the other designs that we release under open-source licenses.
Do you make devices for animals? Like for my dog, cat, duck?
No. We get inundated with these requests, and hence why we called our charity Free 3D Hands. We wish that we could support with making devices for pets, but we are currently inundated with humans needing support.
How much do your devices cost?
Our charity is called Free 3D Hands because our devices are completely free to the recipient. We even pay the postage. We have kind and generous donors who cover the costs of producing the assistive devices and the postage to send them to their new homes.
Why don’t you send your assistive devices to America?
We are unable to supply devices to this region for insurance purposes. There is a volunteer organisation in that region that may be able to support. Please visit www.enablingthefuture.org for details.
Are you making legs?
No we have no plans to make legs. They are complicated to make using our technology because of the load bearing requirements. There are also many other organisations developing this technology, and we find that upper limb devices are in more need of innovation at this stage.
When will your bionic arm be available for public release?
We are currently working hard to develop this very complicated device, and we are not sure when it will be released. Please follow our social media updates on Facebook and Instagram for progress.