One of the changes we have been seen in the medical device sector is the so-called Maker Movement, which transforms product development approach we have today and turns people with no experience in the area into “healthcare technology tinkerers.”
One of the most notorious cases in the Robohand, a prosthetic hand developed by the Australian woodworker Richard van As, who lost four fingers in an accident in 2011. Together with the American-based special effects designer Ivan Owen, they developed a more affordable Robohand using a MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3-D printer.
The creators uploaded the design into Thingiverse.com, enabling anyone in the world with Internet to access plans for the device. Anyone can also modify the design or use it as a starting point for a new one. Another recent and similar example was the Brazilian case that we wrote about previously in our blog.
“There are now hundreds of different prosthetics available on Thingiverse for free to download for anyone,” says Johan-TillBroer, PR manager at Makerbot. The website shows it has helped distribute at least one 3-D printed hand in 40 different countries.