Irene R. Healey CCA (Certified Clinical Anaplastologist), Director, New Attitude Prosthetic Designs Inc
3D printing enables the use of new materials and new designs for external body prostheses. This paper explores combining 3D printed components with traditional methods of creating soft silicone finger prostheses to create a hybrid design that utilizes the advantages of different materials and manufacturing methods. The functional and psychological needs of the hand patient will be discussed. Hand anatomy and the impact different levels of finger amputation have on hand function will be presented. Traditional methods of finger prosthesis construction will be outlined as well as how 3D printed components combined with non 3D printed medical silicones create novel designs that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Case studies will illustrate how the use of 3D printing can improve access to functional finger prostheses early on in a patient’s treatment, help to maintain both fine and gross motor capability and facilitate a rapid return to the patient’s activities of daily living with an earlier return to working and having income.