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Medical Manufacturing


sist in the manufacture of the bebionic3 prosthetic hand, which is transforming the lives of amputees worldwide, helping them to regain independence and control in their everyday lives


Luke Sywalker-Worthy RSLSteeper references the Terminator films in its video


demonstrating this high-tech prosthetic hand (view at http:// youtu.be/_qUPnnROxvY); tech media Web sites are more oſten and gleefully comparing it to the robotic hand sported by Luke Skywalker at the end of Te Empire Strikes Back chapter of the Star Wars saga. Te bebionic3 utilizes leading-edge technology to trigger one of its programmed grips, accurately mirroring human movements. Te culmination of many years of work from RSLSteeper, the bebionic3 hand is designed so that its


• Proprietary “bebalance” soſtware and wireless technol- ogy located within the hand makes it easy to customize the functions to suit your preferences and lifestyle.


• Auto grip means no more accidents, as bebionic3 au- tomatically senses when a gripped item is slipping and adjusts the grip to secure it.


• Durable construction and advanced materials make bebionic3 strong enough to handle up to 45 kg—so you can confidently use the hand to carry heavy objects, and push yourself up from a seated position.


Hand-Off to Delta Tooling Operating from Billingshurst in West Sussex, Delta Tool-


ing now manufactures five parts for the hand, including the aluminium knuckle, the plastic subsection it connects to and a complex thumb bracket that allows the opposable thumb to rotate and move backward and forward. RSLSteeper originally ap-


VISI software helped Delta Tooling prepare the geometry for manufacture and create highly efficient toolpaths for the bebionic3 aluminum knuckle.


unrivalled versatility, functionality and performance allows its users to carry out everyday tasks such as using a computer keyboard, tying shoelaces and chopping vegetables. RSLSleeper press materials for the device promote such features as: • Individual motors in each finger allow you to move the hand and grip in a natural, coordinated way. Te motors are positioned to optimize weight distribution, making the hand feel lighter and more comfortable.


• Powerful microprocessors continuously monitor the position of each finger, giving you precise, reliable control over hand movements.


• Fourteen selectable grip patterns and hand positions enable you to perform a huge number of everyday activities with ease.


• Proportional speed control gives you precision control over delicate tasks, so you can pick up an egg or hold a polystyrene cup as easily as crushing an empty can.


52 Medical Manufacturing 2013


proached Delta Tooling’s directors Gary Childs and Luke Tetlow with an all-plastic molded product that had to be partly machined when removed from the mold tool. “Te initial concept of cast- ing or molding the components, followed by finish machining operations before assembly and testing, gradually evolved into fully machined parts to improve quality and maintain consistency,” says Gary Childs. “Maximizing our use of VISI Machining, we developed strategies that not only


machined the parts from solid billets, but produced them in highly competitive times.” Te initial 3 + 2 machining was carried out on Delta


Tooling’s range of DMGs and Bridgeports, which were programmed with VISI. However, as the complexity of the components grew, it became clear Delta required the flex- ibility of full continuous five-axis machining. “We invested in an AgieCharmilles Mikron UCP 800 Duro and updated our machining soſtware to the latest five-axis release of VISI 20,” says Childs. “Tis not only gives a better quality finish on the product but means we can manufacture it in a more efficient timescale, thereby reducing the number of setups and produc- ing cost-effective production runs.” Five-axis machining is highly suitable for manufacturing


the bebionic3 products, and VISI provides Delta Tooling’s op- erators with a productive solution for preparing the geometry for manufacture and creating the highly efficient toolpaths


Image courtesy Vero Software


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