3-D printers will completely revolutionize the world in a way that few other devices ever have. Imagine supplying a 3-D printer at the cost of a few thousand dollars to every village in every country around the world? Then imagine that, using instructions freely available online, anyone in that village could print a prosthetic hand for their son or daughter. Medical equipment even small educational toys could be printed for next to nothing.
Paul McCarthy was looking for an inexpensive but functional prosthetic hand for his son Leon. Leon was born without fingers on his left hand. Paul found a video online about a prosthetic hand that anyone could make with a 3-D printer, based on a design by Washington state inventor Ivan Owen. Now Leon proudly calls himself a cyborg as he shows off his functioning robotic hand. The coolest part: It didn’t even cost that much. After spending around $2000 on the printer, materials only cost about $10 — much less than the tens of thousands a prosthesis would cost.