Man Explains Why He Prefers $50 3D-Printed Hand to $42,000 Prosthesis

Everybody's excited about the possibilities of 3D printing, but, for some people, the technology stands to improve their lives on a daily if not hourly basis. Jose Delgado, Jr., a 53-year-old man born without most of his left hand, is one of them. Thanks to 3D-printing, Jose got a new hand.

Well, to be perfectly clear, Jose already had a hand: a $42,000 myolectric prosthesis that tapped into muscle signals on his left arm to open and close. While insurance covered part of the cost, Jose paid for about half of his prosthesis out-of-pocket. No wonder he was eager to see what the world of 3D-printed prostheses could offer.

Jose got in touch with Jeremy Simon from 3D Universe, who outfitted him with a mechanical hand called the CyborgBeast. It only costs $50 in materials to produce (plus whatever it costs to use a high-end 3D printer for a few hours if you don't have one at home). How does the $50 hand stack up against the $42,000 prosthesis? Jose prefers it! He says it offers more day-to-day functionality, and, if a part ever breaks, he can just print another one.

Jose's hardly the only one coming around to the promise of 3D-printed prostheses. Now we just need them to feel, too. [3D Universe]