A team of researchers developed a finger design for 3D-printed hand prostheses that demonstrated an increased load-carrying capacity of the finger when compared to a more commonly used design. The authors of the paper describing the device wrote that the functionality of a hand prosthesis with the new finger design would benefit patients with hand loss.
The motion and joint forces of the novel five-link epicyclic (FLE) design were analyzed and compared with a coupled-four-bar linkage (CFBL) design. The results showed that the FLE design yielded a reduction in internal joint forces between 21.32 percent and 86.52 percent and mimicked the proportions and anthropomorphic motion of a human digit. A destructive test was conducted, which demonstrated the increased load-carrying capacity of the FLE finger.
The research paper, A novel prosthetic finger design with high load-carrying capacity, was published in Mechanism and Machine Theory.