Design and Application of 3D Printed Prosthetic Arm Controlled with an Arduino: A Didactic Strategy

  • S Paramasivam, Thing Thing Goh, Huang Shen Chua, Ainon Shakila Shamsuddin, Alireza Zourmand, J Lawrence, C.C. Gee


The engineering industry is undergoing enormous structural changes that have led to an increased need for broader knowledge and skill sets among the entry-level engineering graduates. Thus, reforms in didactic strategy are essential to bridge the gap between expectation and reality of the engineering practice. Rapid advancement of three-dimensional (3D) prints technology, one of the five key technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution pillars forms as a unique way of nurturing to design centric innovation and problem solving skills among students. The purpose of this paper is two-fold: firstly demonstrates optimization of 3D technology as a didactic strategy in nurturing practical skills that encompass problem-solving, creative coding and design of a prosthetic arm. Secondly, utilize Arduino controller to control a customized 3D printed prosthetic arm to create a motion replicating the movement towards hold/grip of an object. The multiple 3D parts designed and produced are assembled to form a passive prosthetic structure with proper which entails codes to be programmed to enable the microcontroller to response to mimic of human fingers motion. This design effort practically established a successful communication link with the fingers to produce hold/grip motion pattern via a low cost assistive device.