March challenge

Imagine your friend has a partial hand on her right side. She has a palm but does not have a thumb or any fingers. Her wrist on the side of the amputation works exactly as yours does. Design a 3D-printed partial hand prosthesis that your friend will want to wear and will allow her to participate in all the things you like to do. Draw your design you would submitt to the NSW Department of Health, who may fund development of your idea. 

Prosthetics are devices which intend to restore the function of a limb for people with limb deficiency. A partial hand is the most common limb deficiency in children. Often children with a partial hand have their palm but are missing the fingers and thumb.

Many children with partial hand choose not to use a prosthesis because current designs are unhelpful, unsightly and uncomfortable. However, 3D printing offers a unique opportunity to improve many aspects of partial hand prostheses.  

An example of what a partial hand might look like. 

Prosthesis should be comfortable and look good to wear

Protheses should be able to use regular items such as shoes

Be creative, and illustrate your design, it does not have to be technical.

When designing your prosthesis, consider…  

  • Think about what you wouldn’t mind wearing. How would the prosthesis will look. It might not have to look exactly like and hand.  
  • What kind of parts will your prothetic have? Will you could make the prosthesis passive (non-moving) or active (moving). If you decide to make your prosthesis active, what kind of movements are important? How will you make it move?  
  • How the prosthesis will attach to the body. You need to make sure that the prosthesis attaches to the body securely yet is comfortable. Remember, your friend might want to use the prosthesis all day.  
  • The resilience of your prosthesis. Will it handle all the things you do with your hands in a day? Think about how many times you do them. You use your hands a lot!  

To Submit:

Upload your Illistration or Diagram of your prothesis with labels or a description, to the Girls in Engineering Club Facebook group by the 31st March, and you’ll have a chance to win prizes for participating! 

(Don’t have Facebook? Email a link to your image to and you’ll still be in the running to win prizes!) 

Need some inspo? Check out these websites and videos: