Nebraska man gets 3D-printed finger replacement 20 years after tragic mishap


3D Printing is a technology that you probably know at least a little about. Did you know it can be used to make prosthetics? You read it correctly. A Nebraska man got a new prosthetic finger thanks to 3D printing.

Here’s how it was done.

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How did this man get a 3D-printed prosthetic?

Adam Cutshall, a Nebraskan native, was building a miniature golf course in their home about 20 years back. Adam cut his finger off while he was drunk and using power tools.

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Adam tried to get a finger prosthetic multiple times, but the cost was as high as $20,000. He never got insurance coverage. Most people needing prosthetics are faced with this situation, since many of them aren’t covered by insurance or are just too expensive.

That’s when Adam found New York City-based artist, photographer, and IT engineer Paul Hodara through a Reddit post asking for any skilled users in 3D printing. After hearing Adam’s story, Paul was kind enough to offer to make Adam a prosthetic finger via 3D printing, all free of charge.

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What is the process for making the finger?

Paul created the device with a Prusa I3 MK3S 3D printer. Throughout his process, he posted videos of the finger’s development, testing its flexibility and durability, and would even show Adam some of his failed attempts.

Paul finished the final version after making around 20 prototypes in 4 months. Adam is able to curl the finger for the very first time since years. It even has a texture on the tip. The finger should last at least two years.

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What does this mean to the future of medicine?

I really hope that 3D-printing can be integrated into the medical field. This seems to be an effective, safe and cost-effective method to help those in need of prosthetics. Paul has no medical background but he’s shown that 3D printers could be very useful for medical professionals. Maybe people won’t have to depend on their insurance companies anymore.

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