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Over at Makerbot Industries, Bre Petis has taken an interest in using a Makerbot to print designs from the Open Prosthetics Project. He has uploaded one device to Thingiverse, the Trautman Hook, and put out a challenge to 3d printer experimenters everywhere to figure out how the technology can be used to help give people access to public domain prosthetics:

The most MakerBottable prosthetic appears to be the Trautman Hook and the project has already created files using Alibre and made them available for download. Getting them made in metal would cost between $435 and $7213 depending on the process you use to get them made out of metal, but the cost will be less than a dollar in plastic for anyone who makes them on a MakerBot. Is plastic a viable option? Can MakerBotted plastic be cast in metal? These are frontiers waiting for MakerBot Operators to explore and share back to the prosthetics ning community that the open prosthetics project has set up. They’ve also set up a wiki for documentation of the Trautman Hook.

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  1. chrisbbehrens.myopenid.com says:

    This may well be a situation wherein you ordinarily need one made out of metal because otherwise it would only last a few weeks. If you can price the unit for $few, then it becomes reasonable to simply get a new one every few weeks rather than purchasing a single one made of metal.

    Now if we could just get it printed out of a reusable material, we’re really in business.

    1. Matt Mets says:

      Hmm, thats a cool idea! There are groups working on re-forming theromoplastics to make stock for 3d printers, so perhaps that could work.