From the mechanical function of grabbing objects to the emotional aspect of gesturing, the functionality of human hands is fundamental for both physical and social survival. Therefore, the loss of one or both hands represents a devastating issue, exacerbated by long rehabilitation times and psychological treatments. Prosthetic arms represent an effective solution to provide concrete functional and esthetical support. However, commercial hand prostheses still lack an optimal combination of light weight, durability, adequate cosmetic appearance, and affordability. Among these aspects, the priority for upper-limb prosthesis users is weight, a key parameter that influences both the portability and the functionality of the system. The purpose of this work is to optimize the design of the MyHand prosthesis, by redesigning both the proximal and distal finger and thumb in light of finding an optimal balance between weight reduction and adequate stiffness. Starting from elastic–plastic numerical models and experimental tests on obsolete components, analyzed under the worst loading condition, five different design solutions are suggested. An iterative topology optimization process locates the regions where material removal is permitted. From these results, 2 mm geometrical patterns on the top surface of the hand prosthesis appear as the most prominent, preventing object intrusion.

Mechanical Design Optimization of Prosthetic Hand’s Fingers: Novel Solutions towards Weight Reduction

Buccino, Federica;Bunt, Alessandro;Vergani, Laura Maria
2022

Abstract

From the mechanical function of grabbing objects to the emotional aspect of gesturing, the functionality of human hands is fundamental for both physical and social survival. Therefore, the loss of one or both hands represents a devastating issue, exacerbated by long rehabilitation times and psychological treatments. Prosthetic arms represent an effective solution to provide concrete functional and esthetical support. However, commercial hand prostheses still lack an optimal combination of light weight, durability, adequate cosmetic appearance, and affordability. Among these aspects, the priority for upper-limb prosthesis users is weight, a key parameter that influences both the portability and the functionality of the system. The purpose of this work is to optimize the design of the MyHand prosthesis, by redesigning both the proximal and distal finger and thumb in light of finding an optimal balance between weight reduction and adequate stiffness. Starting from elastic–plastic numerical models and experimental tests on obsolete components, analyzed under the worst loading condition, five different design solutions are suggested. An iterative topology optimization process locates the regions where material removal is permitted. From these results, 2 mm geometrical patterns on the top surface of the hand prosthesis appear as the most prominent, preventing object intrusion.
hand prostheses, lightweight design, finite element models, topology optimization, selective laser melting
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1208115
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