Plane Crash Survivor Receives Rehabilitation Through 3D Printing Bionics Innovation

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Dinh Van Duong, a former Vietnamese military pilot, received a bionic 3D printed prosthetic hand from a Vietnamese 3D printer and software company, 3D Master.

As a result of a MI-171 helicopter crash, that took the lives of 20 of his fellow soldiers, Doung lost all of his limbs and became wheelchair-bound, even though he had more than 24 complex surgeries.

MC Phan Anh, actor and social activist, found about the tragic story of the solo survivor Doung in August 2017 and  was so moved that he decided to visit the former soldier and help him receive the needed rehabilitation. In September 2018, Plan Anh contacted 3D Master Company expressing his desire to finance the specialized creation of artificial 3D hands.

The 3D Master team responded positively to the request and started working on the project, making many integrations and modifications to their 3D printing innovations until they could present Duong with his new hands. .

They needed to develop a bionic prosthesis that provided a comfortable fit and functionality and that would return some of Doung’s mobility in his upper body without causing hte need for further amputation.

The parts of the 3D hands were printed with a Zortrax M200 3D printer.

They feature strong and lightweighted fingers which are covered with silicon to enhance the frictional forces of the hand and allow Doung to hold objects. Doung can control each finger by separate motors for optimal mobility.

“With this bionic hand, I can hold a bottle of water and pour water into a cup. The first time I used this hand, it was difficult to control it using my thoughts. After being instructed by technicians of 3D Master Company, I can use it with ease and I understand the basic working principle of this prosthetic hand,” Duong said.

The production of the bionic hands cost 40% less than that of regular prostheses thanks to the innovation of 3D Master Company.

The 3D Master Company is planning on increasing the application of 3D printing in the medical industry by producing 500 more bionic hands using the same process at a projected cost of $3500 per hand. This will also help others afflicted with immobility.