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11  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Re: EPIC Yarn Dwarf Beards! on: January 09, 2013 08:07:16 AM
These are absolutely fantastic!

I'm going to try my hand at making one as soon as I have the time available. Thanks for sharing this!
12  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Using prosthetic mech-finger to type on: January 09, 2013 07:33:45 AM

Hello all!

Another update on the finger prosthesis project. Richard, the co-creator and designer of what we've been calling "Robohand", now has a more refined version of the prosthetic which has a new tip that allows him to perform precise tasks like....

Typing: http://youtu.be/DF4wUQKkx10 Smiley

One of the best aspects of this current design is that much of it was constructed from things one can find at a hardware store. The main lever arm & mounting arm for the tip were made from a brass door hinge. The control ring was made from a plumbing fitting. The grip-pad on the finger tip was made from a pad that you can buy to stick underneath table legs. The sleeve to provide padding for his stump is a finger-grip that office workers use when sifting through stacks of paper.

Here are a few images of the latest device:

The only specialty components involved in this design are the orthopedic plastic used to create the hand-mount (usually obtained via a doctor or physical therapist) and the tiny ball-joints (the little ball joints are used in RC cars and can be obtained via a hobby shop or online store).

Within the next week, for those who are interested, we'll be sharing more detailed information on how the prosthetic devices are constructed on our blog: http://comingupshorthanded.com/2013/01/04/celebrating-our-first-year/

13  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / UPDATE on prosthetic finger project on: November 23, 2012 10:11:21 PM
http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/486978_287433981376669_1185416220_n.jpg [edited to remove broken image insert]

A while back I posted on this board sharing an open-source prosthetic project I'm involved in. I just got back from a trip where my design partner and I got to work together in-person for the first time. An exciting new development: we were able to start developing a design for a little boy who was born without fingers on his right hand. In line with the goals of our project, Liam (the awesome little fellow) is receiving what we come up with free of charge.

6 days, 20,000 miles of traveling, many hours of work... it was excellent. There is an unbelievable amount to share, but I'm too worn out at this point. Hopefully the images and video will help to give a picture of the process and results.

Here is a video telling the story of our work this week: http://youtu.be/cyC6_LY7oq0

And here are more photos of both Richard's prosthesis and Liam's prosthesis:

Thank you to everyone in the Craftster Community who has been so supportive and encouraging! Cheesy
14  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Pip-Boy made from scavenged parts on: October 25, 2012 08:03:35 AM

(the photos have censor-bars across them because I removed a web link from the photo to comply with our community's policies Smiley My wife was the photographer and she kindly gave me permission to remove the web-link)

I recently made this for a client of mine. He wanted me to make a re-imagined version of the Pip-Boy from the Fallout games. So, what I constructed is what I imagined the Pip-Boy would end up looking like after a decade or so in the wastes: Rough, gritty, almost all of its' components replaced with scavenged bits of tech as the original pieces, one by one, either broke down or were smashed in fights with mutants.

The control panel and speaker grill were stripped off a vintage CB radio (manufactured in the early 70's). The screen housing was also taken from a piece of 70's tech: an old 35mm film editing machine. To prepare the bits of the CB radio, I dismantled it, removed the face plate  (which was that plastic, fake wood pattern ever-so-popularly used in the 70's) and repainted it with a flat grey primer. The screen housing was easier, I just had to cut it off of the film editor. The little gizmo on the top is a gear mechanism for advancing the 35mm film. When you spin the large wheel, the little wheel spins rapidly. It serves no purpose but is very fun.

There is a compartment below the screen housing into which a smart phone can be inserted. The flap then is wrapped back around to cover the edge of the phone (the phone used as an example is larger than my client's, hence it sticks out a bit.) I left the screen housing open by removing it's old screen cover. That way, one can interact with the smart phone inside.

The entire back of the Pip-Boy is covered in black leather. Every piece of post-apocalyptic wear is better with leather. And sports equipment. LOTS of sports equipment. Tina Turner's guards in bartertown would've been in a bad place without their sports equipment. But I digress.....  the Pip-Boy is attached to the forearm with stretchy & comfortable broad elastic straps.

As you can see from the status of all of the limbs... this vault-dweller is a-okay!
15  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: Home-built mechanical finger prosthetic on: September 17, 2012 08:55:24 AM
Thank you, everyone, for all the kind words and encouragement! Cheesy I'll be certain to share updates on here after Rich and I work together in person in November.

This community is wonderful and I greatly appreciate it. I'm pretty silent on here, more of one of the "watchers", but I love browsing through all the incredible projects that the creative folks on here produce. I can't list the number of times I've come to enjoy and be inspired by the artwork of the craftster community!

So, again, THANK YOU!!! Cheesy

I see that you said you were not going to patent this idea/invention/prosthetic.  I think that it would be a good idea to patent it, only so that the information does remain free and no one else can take your ideas and then patent them away from you.

I appreciate your excellent point and concern. What Richard and I have done to protect the designs from that very real possibility is to release the designs publicly so that they are protected under an IP legal concept known as "Prior Art" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prior_art

By making the designs available publicly no entity, Richard and I included, can claim exclusive rights to the concept Smiley
16  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Home-built mechanical finger prosthetic on: September 11, 2012 06:42:13 AM

I know... The subject line of this post is a mouthful! There just isn't any other way to reasonably describe this thing Cheesy

I've built a large number of unusual things. This is, however, the most unusual, fun and important project that I've been a part of. In December of 2011, a man by the name of Richard Van As who saw one of my Youtube videos sent me an email with these pictures in it:

He very simply asked if would consider partnering with him to build a mechanical replacement for his missing digits. I was excited to jump in and figure it out with him! The catch: he and I live 10,000 miles away from each other. What ensued was a lot of emails, pictures and drawings sent back and forth, and Skype sessions. Now, after a lot of tinkering, we have our first truly functional prototype:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/PkmHfT_rDf8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

We aren't patenting the design; instead we're giving the knowledge away for free. I thought Craftster might be a good place to share some info on the construction of this device.

Here's a rundown of the parts of our prototype:

The hand mount (A) is made from rigid material and formed to the amputee's hand. The lever arm (D) is attached to the hand mount with an axle at position (I). The passive tension system is attached to the hand at position (F)
The artificial finger is made up of a rigid lever arm (D) to which pulleys (C), a form fitting sleeve (B), hinge (E) and Finger tip with grip pad (G) are attached. A cable runs from the finger tip (G) through the pulleys and  attaches to the hand mount at position (H)

We don't have photos of the complete process yet (mostly because we haven't perfected all the steps, lol Smiley ) but I would like to share with you, at least, the wonders of an amazing material called "thermoplastic"!!!!

To start things off, Rich sent me an exact copy of his hand so that I could have an in-person version of it when building models of our designs on my side of the globe:

It's cast from plastic and very durable (so that when I'm clumsy it doesn't break!)

Thermoplastic, I'm fairly certain, has been imbued with magical properties by some sort of ancient race of mythical creatures. It's more likely that it's just a marvel of modern chemistry.... but imagining it being created magically is more exciting.

This is the first time I've worked with it and it's indescribably useful. You cut out your pattern and then immerse the piece of plastic in boiling water for about 20 or 30 seconds. It then turns into a clear, completely flexible material that can stretch and it even adheres to itself! The amazing part, you can take it straight from boiling water, shake off the excess droplets and then handle it without it burning you. It's not even uncomfortably hot. For some reason it's a terrible conductor of heat, but I digress.

After preparing the thermoplastic, I use the model of Richard's hand to create whichever part of the mounting system I'm experimenting with. Here you can see me forming it to fit around his index finger stump. The flaps at the top are later bent together and then the thermoplastic fuses to itself.

Here I am fusing the flaps at the tip. In front of me is my electric kettle, a measuring cup to hold the boiling water, and a bowl full of ice water. After the part is formed, I immerse the part into the ice water. This cools it rapidly and turns the plastic back into its' high-strength, rigid form.

After the hand-mounts are made, then it's a matter of mounting the other hardware and components to the device & sharing what we've made with each other on our Skype brainstorming sessions. Here's a link to a story on our blog that shows both how we communicate with each other on the project as well as an exciting development! Richard's mind is starting to sort of "feel" with the prosthesis!

On 11/17/12 I will be flying over to South Africa to meet Richard in person for the first time and work to finalize our design! For those that are interested, we will be posting video updates on our progress on the fine-tuned version on the site that I linked to above. Smiley

November has come and gone, and my visit with Rich went very well! Here's a video that summarizes what we did together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyC6_LY7oq0
17  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Re: Incredible Hulk Costume Mechanics on: July 19, 2012 07:58:55 AM
Hey, since you're one of those moderator-type-people, do you happen to know how to embed a youtube video on Crafster? (if it is even possible to do so) Smiley

Only admin (sweets4ever and jungrrl) can imbed a video, but I sent sweets4ever the link and she did it for you. Smiley


Cheesy !thank you very much rackycoo and sweets4ever! Cheesy
18  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Re: Incredible Hulk Costume Mechanics on: July 19, 2012 07:16:49 AM
Thank you rackycoo!

Hey, since you're one of those moderator-type-people, do you happen to know how to embed a youtube video on Crafster? (if it is even possible to do so) Smiley
19  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Incredible Hulk Costume Mechanics on: July 19, 2012 06:26:55 AM

So I know this very cool guy by the name of Alfred Norris. I met him, electronically at least, when he contacted me about commissioning a set of hand mechanics from me. When he told me what said mechanics were for... I can't tell you how excited I was to start the project! Al and I designed the hands together and I just finished fabricating them last night.

Al is making an 8 foot tall hulk costume. I've seen the concept art etc. and it's going to be amazing. When he has finished it, I'll see if I can either get him to post something on Crafster or I'll share it on his behalf. For now, there's a video of the "Skeleton" of the Hulk in action at the end of this post. Hulk's head is going to be located above the head of the "Puppeteer" and his shoulders above where the Puppeteer's elbows are in the video.

Without knowing how tall I am, it's probably hard for folks to get a sense of the scale of these giant mitts. Here's a picture that should help a bit (photo was taken before the hand's were 100% complete)

I'm just shy of 6 feet, so with these on my arm-span is increased to approximately 9.5 feet (Hulk's arms are proportionally larger than a human's when compared to his height... more like a Gorilla than a man).

'' . strtr(htmlspecialchars(stripslashes('<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/wfTMuqkLUKY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>'), ENT_QUOTES), array('&#38;#13;' => '
', '&#38;#32;' => ' ')) . ''


While this post is *technically* about a costume that's currently in production, my portion of it (the hand skeletons) is complete Smiley
20  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Wrist-Brace Mod for my Wife on: December 30, 2011 12:13:33 AM

So, my wife had to go to the doctor today because she hyper-extended her wrist a few days ago. As it turns out, she strained her tendons pretty bad and the doc gave her a brace that she has to wear for the next two weeks. When she got home from the doctor's, she asked me if I would like to decorate it for her. Needless to say, I was very excited to do so!

Here's how the brace looked to begin with (with the first bits of sharpie drawing on the thumb piece):

And, after more black sharpie and a bit of chainmaile:

I decided after it was finished that it was no longer a wrist-brace. Far from it. It has now become a futuristic battle-gauntlet that prevents her wrist from snapping back when she fires her super compact, hand-held Railgun. She fires the Railgun with her off-hand, of course, because her dominant hand needs to be free to wield her Tesla Sword!

My wife sent me a modified picture with her thoughts on the subject:

And now she'll happily follow her doctors instructions and actually wear the brace for the full two weeks Cheesy

Mission accomplished!
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