• To preface what we did I would like to start by saying that Catherine and I are both musicians. I am a classically trained violinist , and she is a concert pianist; and thus we could not imagine our lives without the use of our hands which in turn provide us with creative outlets but furthermore provides us with motivation to equipt others who do not have our privelages with a means of self expression. 

    In this studio, our goal was to expound upon the functionality of the Robohand( the original 3d printed hand) by making it more utilitarian, friendly, and durable. The results were the dawn of the "Ratchet Hand,". An important aspect we wanted to focus on was aesthetics. For children especially, we found that art is crucial means of self expression. We thought that certainly everyone should have the ability of self expression, and having no hands should not be a limiting factor. 

    The main structure of our Ratchet Hand is based off of the RoboHand. The RoboHand is inexpensive and available in .stl form worldwide. In our project, we focused on reinventing the fingers and knuckle board. To begin the design process, we started off creating a bridge that would hold artistic utensils of specific circumferences. We found out this was really inconvenient and bulky. So, we changed it into a spherical shape. This allowed for more flexibility and created more of a curved and smooth surface. After our first 3-D prototype, we found that the sphere was very bulky; as a way to keep a smooth shape, we went to a cylinder shape with lofted edges. This way, it wouldn't be as bulky but still maintain a nice surface. One major component of our hand is the ratchet mechanism. The ratchet allows the cylinder to move and give multiple positions for the person to use the utensils from. It also holds the position in place.

    We changed the design from strictly art "instruments" but to general utensils. To fit the utensils, we were going to use a threaded screw concept so that way any circumference pencil, pen, or marker could fit. Unfortunately, we were unable to complete this idea. In the end, we had specific circumferences for different utensils. Our final Ratchet Hand can hold a pencil, sharpie, paintbrush, fork, and knife. It is multifunctional and universal for many to use.

    We are developing a couple new interchangeable ratchets, that are more germain to the task in which they will be used: a ratchet cylinder for eating utensils (solely), a ratchet hand for writing(different circumferences). Also one that has a pencil sharpener and maybe even a lazer!

    Thank you to team ratchet, and everyone at nuvu for inspiring us to do what could not be done.

  • Do It Yourself Prosthetics Studio

    Using the open source RoboHand prosthetic as a basis for design, students re-envisioned the device to provide functionality beyond the capabilities of a traditional digit-based prosthetic. Students worked with the eNable online community which produces low-cost prosthetics to children for whom a standard prosthetic is cost-prohibitive and impractical due to growth. Students also worked with a local peer in need of such a prosthetic and are currently in the process of organizing a design charette matching users and young designers.

    DIY Prosthetics


  • The finger, pen cartridge, cover, and pen holder all assembled.

  • Our final clasp design is done. We used Sketch to edit it as a vector, converted it to a DXF in Illustrator, and after laser cutting and testing the design we're extruding it in Rhino so we can print it.

  • We're printing 5 new fingers, each with a slot fitted for our pen attachment (or some other) and a new bridge to get rid of all the hot glue. We've removed the front part of the fingers and the rear bridge so we'll be able to add them in when they're finished.

  • We've cut the writing finger's wire so as the hand is straightened, the writing finger remains pointed.

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