The human hand can perform a multitude of distinct tasks. Depending on the joint, members of the hand can rotate in one or two dimensions with varying ranges of motion . For example, the wrist can rotate in flexion and extension and ulnar flexion and. The combination of individual joint rotations creates movements that can perform tasks such as cylindrical and spherical; grasping, tip and palmar pinching, hook and snapping etc . The goal when designing a prosthetic is to replicate certain movements that are most useful to an amputee. The specific movements which the prosthetic should be capable of will need to be considered based on complexity, stresses applied, usefulness, and ease of use for the user. Movements that are most useful in this application are defined as movements that are highly used by the user that best improve the user’s quality of life. When designing a new prosthetic, it is important to consider the materials and the structure. The product should be aesthetically pleasing, waterproof and lightweight, yet very durable and strong. All these design criteria rely on the materials chosen for the design, thus it is especially important to understand the specific properties of each material used. Properties such as compressive, tensile, shear and torsional strength as well as shock absorption are important properties to mimic a real human limb’s movement . Fatigue resistance, creep and resistance to corrosion are important properties to possess when designing a comfortable and lasting prosthetic . Lastly, it is important for a prosthetic design to be biocompatible with the amputee. A prosthetic’s biocompatibility speaks to the materials agreeability with the surface of the amputee’s skin and living tissue . A material that is not biocompatible with living tissue will cause discomfort and stress in the amputated area .
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