Form and Function

How materials and usage work together in applications and structures.The Third Thumb by Danielle Clode


Creating an extra functional finger to play guitar better than Segovia is a good example of how new ideas can make one think outside the box.

The above example is a more light-hearted idea than the one Open Bionics’ had when they started developing hand prostheses for children who still were growing. They created the electronic interface between prosthesis and brain but let people 3D print their own limbs as they grew or just felt bored with the one they had.  When I attended their presentation  they had just gotten the rights to let their users create arms and hands from Disney’s “Frozen”, Marvel’s (?) “Iron Man” and the white Stormtroopers from Star Wars.  The “cool factor” made young amputees wear their protheses readily.  This was not the case when they looked like a plastic trowels.  Open Bionics’ electronics interface could just be transferred from the old to the new hardware.


Another example is creating houses by 3D printing using cement and ground-up building rubbish as extruded wall material.  In China it is a £ multi billion industry.  It is not really backed here as it would severely impact the building industry and the need for mortgages.


This small Russian house was berected in 24 hours and cost £8288 with a finished hallway, bathroom, kitchen and living room.  The financial incentive to block this development   (£190 Sq. m) in new construction is probably both strong and futile.


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