Published on August 30th, 2016 | by David0
Maryland Laboratory, Will Print Prosthetic Fingers
As one of the country’s leading-edge 3D printing labs, the University of Maryland’s MakerBot Innovation Center gets a lot of unique requests from throughout the school and the community. They’ve printed out everything from mechanical models and bracket fixtures to Mother’s Day presents and fingers.
That’s what Maryland business owner Brian Jordan wanted when he contacted the office a few months ago. An engineer by trade, Jordan lost parts of his thumb and index finger in a saw accident in his garage about three years ago. The owner of Jordan Research & Development, he also started a non-profit company called Robiotech Corp. to develop prosthetic digits for the nearly 400,000 people missing fingers or toes.
“There are only about two companies that build prosthetic fingers,” Jordan says. “You would think there would be a lot more, but there really aren’t many options. It’s not like legs and arms.”
Jordan now hopes to have a fully functional prototype ready for testing by the end of the year. After that, he plans to register it with the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA doesn’t need to approve it, but a registration is needed in order to get it covered for many insurance claims.
He says the advantage of running it through a non-profit company is the ability to get prosthetics to people who otherwise couldn’t afford them. “There’s a group of people that would benefit from this, we want to get it to them for free.”