Digit Kit is a prosthetic hand that uses a rail mount system to allow users to quickly and securely switch between many different utility attachments. It enables the user to place attachments on the front as well as either side of the prosthetic, empowering the individual to hack the prosthetic to suit their specific needs.
The concept for this project aims to completely shift the paradigm of limb replacement from the current, strictly bound, and nearly obsessive aim to replicate hand function, towards an open discourse of prostheses as accessory tools.
This project involves the use of 3D printing technology to allow for the prosthetic hand and its attachments to be quickly and cheaply printed at home with a desktop 3D printer, such as the Makerbot, or through a local 3D printing service.
In order to develop 3D models that were easily adjustable to different sizes, I chose to design all of my models using OpenSCAD. Essentially, it is a software that enables you to code 3D models, allowing you to allocate many variables to shapes so that they can be changed with great ease. As such, the prosthetic can be resized in more ways than just it's overall scale - You can really tweak it to fit you perfectly.
My original concept for this prosthetic AmpGear (http://ampgear.ca) was simply not useful enough as it would not properly secure attachments. I then moved on to design an attachment system where attachments would be pushed in and twisted to lock. This design was much stronger, but did not achieve the practicality that I wanted.
Then, with some great discussions with the wonderful innovators at eNABLE (http://enablingthefuture.org/), I updated my prosthetic using a rail system (original concept Aaron Brown https://www.youmagine.com/designs/python-utility-hand-alternative-assistive-device) that could be completely "hacked" by adding attachments where the user seemed fit. This really surpassed my initial dreams for this prosthetic, and once I tested it I knew it was the way to go. The final prototype to the right pictured below would then turn into the current iteration of Digit Kit.
This project will be moving into a user testing phase very soon. First, I need to work on customizing leather sleeves that fit users comfortably and secure the prosthetic to their residual limb or arm. The ultimate goal for this project is to develop an online crowdsourcing portal that collects attachment designs and ideas from amputees and their communities to be then shared with the community.