Learn how Partial Hand Solutions designs and 3D prints finger and hand prosthetics using Autodesk Fusion 360 and the Formlabs Fuse 1 3D printer.
For the past 20 years, Matthew Mikosz has worked in the prosthetic industry. Early on, he noticed a great deal of investment in important advancements for arms, legs, elbows, and more.
But he noticed that those with partial or fully amputated fingers didn’t have many options. This ranged from soldiers returning to Afghanistan to anyone who experienced a number of different accidents.
That’s when he took the problem into his own hands—quite literally—and founded Partial Hand Solutions to design a new solution for fingers and hands. He began sketching and hired an engineer to do the first 3D models. After another software became too cost-prohibitive, he turned to Fusion 360.
“It was great to find an alternative solution and it’s so easy to use,” Mikosz says. “I’m not an engineer, and I just kind of learned it by myself with plenty of tutorials online. I’m constantly learning.
“I can sit down at my computer for several hours a day and design away, and I like how it merges with my 3D printing—especially with the new Fuse 1,” he continues.
3D Printing with Fusion 360 and the Fuse 1
The recent integration for Fusion 360 and the affordable Fuse 1 SLS printer from Formlabs has created even more opportunities for Partial Hand Solutions. The Fuse 1 is a giant leap for additive manufacturing, with its low price point, competitive print quality, small footprint, and simple workflow.
For his workflow, Mikosz designs in Fusion 360, prepares the file to print with Formlabs’ PreForm software, and then prints with the Fuse 1. At the end of the printing process, the Fuse Sift powder recovery station is used to remove print from the build chamber, clean the parts, sift loose powder, and recycle powder.
Instead of waiting for expensive injection molds to return, Mikosz can now produce his prosthetic designs and durable parts on-demand with an SLS printer right inside his office and for much less cost.
“Fusion 360 as my build platform and Fuse 1 for manufacturing is really solid and it’s a great combination of hardware and software,” he says.
Scaling with Fusion 360
Partial Hands Solutions partial finger prosthetics come in five different sizes, including the flagship M-Finger. But if a custom size is needed Mikosz can easily make it smaller or bigger depending on the client.
“The great thing about Fusion 360 is that I can scale and make a custom size for anyone,” he says.
And Mikosz isn’t limited to his current designs. He’s constantly innovating and even designed an elbow. Recently, a mother in Alabama requested a pediatric-sized hand prosthetic for her daughter. He promised to try and make it happen.
“I started to design it myself and redesign a whole new finger and system for this particular patient,” he says. “Then I thought, what am I doing? Why don’t I just scale down the adult version? I re-engineered some of the hardware rivets, screws, and springs. I also redesigned the holes to accommodate the smaller size.
“With Fusion 360, I could easily come up with the new pediatric version of fingers by just scaling down,” he continues. “I was easily able to provide this girl with a new hand.”
Currently, Mikosz is working on his most ambitious project yet: a mechanical hand. With Fusion 360 and the Fuse 1 printer, he’s confident this new idea will become a reality to transform even more lives.
Read about the Fusion 360 and Formlabs partnership here.