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These Giant Articulated Hands Are Made from 170 Laser Cut Pieces


These hands go by the name of Gapetto’s Folly on the Etsy store that Danger First runs. They are articulated puppet hands that you slide your hand inside of and you can control the fingers independently. There are 170 laser cut wood components per hand, plus an array of brass, steel, leather, and creative etching.


I asked Ivan Owen, the creator of the hands, where the inspiration came from.

I’ve had an odd relationship with hands for the past 4 or 5 years. To make a long story short(ish): I made a giant metal prop/puppet hand in a moment of creativity (perhaps insanity?) about 5 years ago. This lead, through utterly strange means, to me co-creating the world’s first 3D printable open-source prosthetic hand which eventually snowballed into the e-NABLE open source prosthetics community . I recently decided to re-visit the idea of giant puppet hands and this time around wanted to make them almost entirely out of wood instead of metal.

Ivan shared that the little leather thimbles that you see above were a difficult aspect to the 3 week long design.

One of the biggest challenges was getting the design of the thimbles right. They’re worn on the fingers to control the hands and needed to be comfortable, strong & as small as possible so that they could move as freely as possible inside the hand. It took 3 iterations on the design to get it just right.


Senior Editor for Make: I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

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