As a person who has his own fair share of finger injuries, I completely understand the value of the finger splint. Fingers can take some time to heal and continuously using it can be excruciating painful and can increase the length of the injury. To help people Ian McHale designed a printable finger splint.
A Cost-Effective Medical Solution
McHale, a high school student at Steinert in New Jersey, had a project from a biology teacher: create a device that aided people for less than $10. He went beyond that 10 dollar mark and chose to create finger splints for less than 2 cents.
His idea came from studying at the Mini Medical School program. Dr. Richard Siderits, the teacher of the program and a pathologist at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, showed the students his office where he placed a usable prototyping environment. The laboratory contains the necessarily tools, such as 3D modeling software, a 3D scanner, and a 3D printer, to create plastic models for research purposes.
McHale decided he wanted to demonstrate that the technology could help “save lives” around the world. This can be especially seen in developing countries where medical supplies are scarce and costly.
He named his project the Field Splint and can print up to 30-40 splints in one batch. Each one can be scaled individually across any axis and is made with ABS plastic. The ability to customize provides an extreme benefit as doctors can provide the best fit for the patients.
As no surprise to many, McHale’s design won first place in his division at the Mercer Science and Engineering Fair. To spread the love he uploaded the design on Thingiverse and hopefully more fingers can get well soon.