Tag Archives: Indiegogo

3D Printed Robotic Hand Organization Hoping to Close Crowdfunding

The Open Hand Project Aims to Use 3D Printing to Help Amputees

Joel Gibbard is an engineer based in Bristol, UK and founded the Open Hand Project, which aims to make prosthetic hands dramatically cheaper and more accessible to amputees by way of 3D printing.

“The vision of the project is to make robotic prosthetic hands more accessible to amputees,” said Gibbard. “I plan to continue the development for a further year, and for the prostheses to be in use after that. After the devices are in use I plan to move the development forward into further lowering the cost, further advancing the technology and making it more accessible to children and partial hand amputees.”

Link: visit the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign

Open Hand Project Thumbs Up

The Open Hand Project is a non-profit organization and not affiliated with any other institutions.

Its first product, the Dextrus hand, is a working prototype resulting from this open source hardware initiative. It is a fully-functional robotic hand, with features and capabilities similar to leading advanced prosthetics, but at up to 1/100th of the cost.

The Dextrus hand works much like a human hand. It uses electric motors instead of muscles and steel cables instead of tendons. 3D printed plastic parts work like bones and a rubber coating acts as the skin. All of these parts are controlled by electronics to give it a natural movement that can handle all sorts of different objects.

It uses existing artificial limb attachment hardware and mounts to keep costs down and stick-on electrodes to read signals from the remaining muscles, which can control the hand, telling it to open or close.

3D printing was instrumental to the design and development of the Dextrus hand. “If I didn’t have my 3D printer the development to get this far would have taken at least a year and would have cost 10 times as much,” explained Gibbard. “I’ve only had the 3D printer around 4 months and it was about 3 months between printing my first part, to having the hand you see now.

Support the Crowdfunding Campaign

Mr. Gibbard launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise £39,000 to fund the project for an entire year. The campaign ends on October 9th and he just over halfway to his goal.

Open Hand Project Amputee

Watch this video for the campaign, which includes footage of Chef Liam Corbett, an amputee himself, using the Dextrus hand and explaining its benefits. ”I would be proud to wear this, it would make me feel more confident,” said Corbett.

We asked Mr. Gibbard to share his thoughts on why people should donate to his campaign. Here’s what he said:

People should get on board because we need their support. We have plenty of time to achieve the goal and momentum has really been picking up around the project. Here are 5 reasons that people should donate:

1. One day, you could need this! It’s worth a £15 donation just for the peace of mind to know that it will be available when you might need it.
2. It’s an “all or nothing” campaign. If the funds aren’t raised, you get all of your money back.
3. You can get a great perk in exchange for your pledge. Winter is coming here in the Northern Hemisphere and we could all do with a pair of warm gloves!
4. You’re giving money to a fantastic cause, this could help thousands of people around the world.
5. Every donation helps, even £1 really helps to keep the campaign moving and build awareness. You can keep the amount anonymous if you want to!

You can support their Indiegogo campaign or learn more about the organization at www.openhandproject.org.

3D Printer, CNC, Scanner FABtotum Soars in Crowdfunding Campaign

Personal Fabricator FABtotum Combines Scanner, 3D Printer, and CNC in One

3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is incredible technology. But milling and CNC, or subtractive manufacturing, are also very useful tools in prototyping and production. And 3D scanning is becoming both more accessible and more in demand for digital replication of physical objects.

So how many machines do I need in my lab? FABtotum thinks you need just one.

FABtotum personal fabricator

FABtotum is a multi-purpose tool, calling itself the world’s first low-cost desktop personal fabrication device. You can scan, cut, mill, and 3D print, all with one machine.

“It’s like having a fab lab in a box,” said Marco Rizzuto, co-founder of the Italian startup that has created the FABtotum. His team is currently in the business incubator at Politecnico di Milano University, Milan.

Related: Read our Fab Lab series.

Rizzuto explained that the FABtotum is intended for designers, makers, and professionals alike.

“The FABtotum personal fabricator can appeal to everyone that dreamed about making things and exploit his creativity but never had the tools or the knowledge to do so,” said Rizzuto. “Common 3D printers allows only one direction: from digital to physical, with FABtotum not only you can go from digital to physical and back,but you can do so in many materials.”

FABtotum team

Leading on Price

There are over 1,000 3D printers available on the market today. Some of the most popular devices, such as the MakerBot Replicator series and the Ultimaker, cost over $2,000.

FABtotum 3D printing

The FABtotum is pricing a fully-assembled personal fabricator at $1,099 on crowdfunding site Indiegogo.

We asked the FABtotum team how they are able to price an all-in-one device at half that of the market’s leading 3D printer. They explained, “We have spent much time working with manufactures to get the the lowest price possible. FABtotum will, however, be facing fixed costs during production such as rent, machinery and personnel. Maintaining this low pricing policy depends on how those costs will compare with sales, which is looking very optimistic!”

Related: Peachy 3D Printing to Sell for $100 on Kickstarter

Closing in on $400,000 Crowdfunding

Like many other companies in this space, FABtotum has turned to crowdfunding to overcome the hurdle of initial production. With an initial target of $50,000, the campaign is now close to reaching $400,000 with 5 days left.

FABtotum digital production

What exciting things can the team do with these extra funds?

“For each stretch goal that has been achieved, FABtotum is adding more and more cool features,” said a FABtotum spokesperson. They have added more colors, additive sub-systems, i/o capabilities such as USB, SD, and Wi-Fi, and a CMOS sensor.

Watch the video below to learn more about FABtotum and visit their Indiegogo campaign to pledge.

Top 10 Countdown: Most Popular 3D Printing Stories in July 2013

Arcology Now!

Here are the top 10 most popular stories On 3D Printing brought you in July 2013.

10. Poppy Kickstarter Closes in on $150,000 to Turn Your iPhone into a 3D Camera

9. NASA Tests 3D Printed Rocket Engine Injector

8. Shapeways Introduces Gold Plated Brass to 3D Printing

7. Inside 3D Printing Chicago Conference – A Full Retrospective

6. Study Shows 3D Printing Emits Ultrafine Particles; What This Actually Means

5. Student Creates LEGObot 3D Printer Made Entirely of LEGOs

4. MIT’s OpenFab Could Revolutionize 3D Printing Design Process

3. 3D Printing Iron: ExOne Announces New Metals for 3D Printing

2. IndieGoGo Campaign The Touch-Up Promises to Smooth 3D Printing

1. Arcology Now! Launches Competition for Large-Scale 3D Printed Habitats


Thanks for reading in July!

Top 3D Printing News Last Week: NASA, LEGOs, Poppy, Crowdfunding

NASA 3D Printed Rocket Engine Injector

3D Printing News

A roundup of the top 3D printing news from July 15 to July 21:

Monday, July 15

Tuesday, July 16

Thursday, July 18

 Saturday, July 20

IndieGoGo Campaign The Touch-Up Promises to Smooth 3D Printing

The Touch-Up 3D Printing

Crowdfunding Campaign to End Manual Polishing for 3D Printing

One of the less publicized aspects of 3D printing, specifically FDM, is the tedious work required after you press “print” with your MakerBot, Printrbot, Ultimaker, or any other 3D printer. Every 3D printer has a defined resolution, which is the thickness of each layer. Typical desktop 3D printers have a resolution of around 100 to 200 microns. The result looks like the image below, visible horizontal lines in the finished product.


To smooth out these lines, advanced 3D printing enthusiasts typically use a sanding technique followed by polishing. Remember, with many desktop 3D printers, the material used is ABS plastic. It is soft enough to smooth out, but requires this manual effort.

Introducing The Touch-Up

3D Customization Co. has developed a product that employs a new technique for smoothing and finishing 3D prints without the manual effort. The product is called The Touch-Up, and 3D Customization Co. has launched an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign to raise $5,000.

We interviewed CEO Westley Harrell about The Touch-Up.

On 3D Printing: What is The Touch-Up?

Westley Harrell: The Touch-Up is a product used to smooth and polish rough edges due to the 3D Printing process. Achieve amazing results using various print layers. Imagine a finish you can see yourself in! Literally! Stop wasting time hand sanding and hand polishing your 3D printed ABS models. Let The Touch-Up do it for you! This product allows you to get professional looking models faster by letting The Touch-Up smooth your print for you while another model prints. We found that when using MakerBot’s ABS filament, we were able to get faster polishing times with a great overall consistency with each model polished. (Same filament used in our video and pictures)

I used to spend a lot of time finishing my models after they were printed to get a really clean and smooth surface. I tried different techniques from spray enamel to dipping the part in different chemicals. It took months until I figured out the best method for polishing 3D printed ABS models. That was to submerse the ABS model in Acetone vapor. From that came the idea of vapor sanding and The Touch-Up was conceived.

Anyone who uses ABS to 3D Print will find The Touch-Up a great addition to their 3D Printing Arsenal. We made it easy to use and easy to clean so anyone who 3D Prints could use it.

On 3D Printing: Why are you turning to IndieGoGo for funding?

Westley Harrell: We chose IndieGoGo because we wanted to make The Touch-Up available to anyone, anywhere. This campaign also helps provide funding for upgrades and will help us move forward with this product. Also through this 30-day campaign we will be able to identify the need for this product, and determine how much time should be invested in bringing this product forward to consumers in the future. This is just the first project we are bringing to the public. We want to identify which product is in the highest demand.

Origins of Acetone Vapor Bath in the Maker Community

While The Touch-Up is the first commercialized product to use an acetone vapor bath, the origins of this technique look to be from the Maker community. In February 2013, Austin Wilson posted on his blog about a new technique that he and his friend Neil Underwood were developing to polish 3D printed objects using acetone vapor baths.

Neil also posted his results on the RepRap blog. Neil explained his inspiration:

Treating ABS parts with acetone is almost as old as RepRap itself, but usually this has involved either dipping the part into liquid acetone, which causes white streaks in the parts, or brushing the acetone onto the part with a slurry mix, which can work very well but tends to be a messy process.

I have seen several setups out there, one by the Solidoodle Folks that involved a deep fryer, ice, tubing, and a candy thermometer, or completely passive systems that just used unheated acetone like TBuser of Makerbot did.

Unlike the other experiments, Neil and Austin heated the acetone in a closed chamber. The results were impressive.

Neil Underwood 3D Printing Acetone Vapor Bath

In March, Wired magazine published a feature about Neil and Austin and their vapor bath technique. With the additional exposure of their approach came a new caveat:

Anyone interested in trying this should take care. Wilson says points out that acetone isn’t especially dangerous, but it has to be handled carefully since the vapor can catch fire if exposed to sparks or flames.

If you like this idea and want to help fund the first commercial product to use acetone vapor baths to polish 3D printed objects, go check out The Touch-Up at IndieGoGo.