Talon Hand 2.0 (now 2.7)

by profbink, published

Talon Hand 2.0 (now 2.7) by profbink Jan 19, 2014

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This is a remix of Makerbot's snap pin robohand. Thanks go out to the designers of the "Complete Set of Mechanical Anatomically Driven Fingers", Ivan Owen of Mech Madness Designs http://mechmadnessdesigns.com/ ; Richard Van As of Robohand http://robohand.net/ ; Michael Curry, the designer of the Snap-Together Robohand ; and to all the collaborators at e-NABLE https://www.facebook.com/enableorganization
I've optimized the design to be more ergonomic/comfortable, and to use leather as an interface material. With 3 pieces of leather you can mount this prosthetic device to a person lacking fingers on one hand.
Two sets of fingers are included: One with snap pins and one for Chicago screws.
Here's a clip of my son Peregrine putting on his Talon 2.2:
And here's he is playing at home:
After upgrading to 2.7, and some 2.0mm monofilament cables:
For more information or to get involved, visit http://enablingthefuture.org/
Now available here is a wide unipalm and matching wide cable guide. Thanks for the great mod, Ivan Owen!
***Significant upgrade on Feb 5, 2015!! Please provide feedback on the new files, and contact me if you need old files. There is now a cable anchor that takes 10 set screws, two for each cable, to prevent cable slipping, and the cable guide now has a left and right version, and better guides the cables, so that monofilament can push as well as pull, therefore obviating the use of elastics. :D


You can print everything but the finger distals with no support.
Ivan Owen has published an excellent step-by-step tutorial, in 3 parts:
Thank you Ivan!!
I'm working on detailed written instructions for all my wrist-powered devices at:

The cable anchor for the Talon Hand uses set screws. I used round trimmer line (like for landscaping) for the cables, and found that in a small print, if I mount the anchor forward and close to the cable guide, the hand will open without elastics. The cables push and pull. If your hand is not opening satisfactorily, you can install elastics. But if possible, avoid elastics, since they make it more difficult to close the hand.
Here is the hardware list for a build at the scale of 1, a good size for a 4-5 year old child.
wrist hinge: (2) 8-32 x 5/8" flat head hex screw; (2) 8-32 nylock nut
Anchor mount: (3) 3m x .5 x 8mm flat socket cap screw; (3) 3m x .5 cap nut
Cable anchor (5) set screws 6-32 x 1/4
Cable guide: (4) truss head sheet metal screws #4 x 5/8
Palm leather tacks: (16-20) truss head sheet metal screws #4 x 3/8
Leather to arm bars: (8) 6-32 x 3/8" flat socket cap screw

  • a layer of 1" nylon webbing: (1) 6-32 x 7/16" flat socket cap screw
  • 2 layers of 1" nylon webbing: (1) 6-32 x 1/2" flat socket cap screw
    3 pieces, each ~a foot long 0.05" round trimmer line (landscaping type) for the cables. Fingertip ends of the line are melted into balls with a lighter so that they catch in the tips.
    I typically build this for Peregrine, my adult son, at a scale of 1.6. He has an extra-large right hand. Obviously, the hardware should be larger for his build. Here's a list of hardware:
    Talon Hand/Ody Hand at scale of 1.6:
    10 Arm Bar Screws #10/24 x 3/8 or slightly shorter flat socket cap screw
    2 Wrist Hinge 1/4" x 3/4" and nylock nuts
    20 Palm Tacks #6 x 1/2
    5 Set Screws
    4 Cable Guide Screws
    Cable anchor 3 flat socket cap screws and dome/acorn nuts
    Nylon or Poly webbing for strap(s) and/or palm reinforcement.
    You should have three pieces of leather: One very thick, for the one med
    You can make a closure with Velcro or double D-rings. OdyBars are for a child's device and uses a single strap on the third hole. There is a space so the strap is comfortable between the plastic and leather. ArmBars are for an adult's device and use two straps. Loop the straps in holes 1 and 3.
    If you print small, the spaces between the parts will be smaller, so more finishing is usually needed. If you print the device small (100-130%) use PPsnap4small instead of ProxPhalSnap (better for 140-160%)
    Now there is a zip file containing Ivan Owen's wide palm Talon Hand. Thanks again Ivan!

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Talon Hand 2.0 (now 2.7) by profbink is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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I'm having difficulty determining how many screws and lines I need to purchase if I were to print at a 100% scale. Also which size fingers should I print for a 100% scaled print.

Good question. You will need 10 x 3/16" #6-32 set screws, 4 x 3/4" #4 pan head sheet metal screws, 16 x 1/2" 1/2" #4 truss head sheet metal screws, 2 x 7/16" #8-32 flat socket head screws, nylon hex jamb nuts or nylon insert lock nuts and 2 #8 flat washers, everything stainless steel. 1.4mm/ ~.05" nylon monofilament for the cables. For the leather bracer and upper, 5oz vegetable tanned leather, and 7oz veg tan leather for the palm. 3/4" nylon webbing for the straps. I think that's about it.
The hardware listed in this response is for a 100% build. Larger builds will need larger hardware.

Sorry for bothering you, but just to clarify this hardware list is when using the snap pins design correct?

That's correct. One set of fingers uses Chicago screws. For 100%, you would need Chicago screws with a 1/8" post and are 1/2" long. If you use Chicago screws, use some kind of thread lock so one side doesn't come loose and get lost. I do recommend the snap pin fingers, as they are very strong and functional, and the pins do a better job of staying in place.

Where do you suggest purchasing the screws?

I get all my screws from Albany County Fasteners in New Jersey.
If you're asking about Chicago screws, I have found some in aluminum at Lowe's, but those are too big for a 100% print. You can look around on eBay for Chicago screws, but like I said, I highly recommend the snap pin version of the fingers. I don't build with Chicago screws any more, and my son is a heavy duty user of the Talon Hand and the Osprey Hand.

does anyone know the difference between the cable anchor and the cable tensioner? in the tutorial videos he uses the tensioner, but I was wondering if they were used for the same purpose?

Oct 19, 2015 - Modified Oct 19, 2015
profbink - in reply to biotech123

Sure. The tensioner is probably the best solution if you're using a braided line, like dyneema, and elastics. You can adjust the tension via little screws in the back of the tensioner block.
The cable anchor is the best option if you're using nylon monofilament.
In the photos the black Talon uses the cable anchor. The blue Talon uses the tensioner. And in the tutorial video, Ivan uses the tensioner.
I would strongly recommend the use of heavy gauge nylon monofilament, since you don't have to use elastics. So the cable anchor is preferable. Check out the Osprey Hand here on Thingiverse, which should give you some ideas.

does anyone have the file for the tensioner and bricks that are seen on the light blue talon hand pictured above?

I just uploaded the optional tensioner block and pins. Help yourself.

Are the scale factors the same as for the Raptor Reloaded? Im making one for a young boy

The scale factors are similar, but you will want to make the Talon about 5% bigger than you would make a Raptor Reloaded. The Talon is more difficult to assemble. Unless you're pretty good at making these, I'd suggest making the Osprey Hand.

I am interested in no thumb, No pointer finger version of Talon. (User has Thumb and pointer finger.)

Thanks for other info. (Fusion 360 failed to run. I'm checking out all of E-nable

Aug 19, 2015 - Modified Aug 19, 2015
profbink - in reply to gddeen

The geometry of the Talon would make a "no thumb no pointer" version too fragile. There may be a solution, but it would require some serious restructuring. Here is the "no thumb no pointer" palm for the Raptor, which is much easier to assemble than the Talon.


I'm afraid I'm not offering much product support for the Talon these days, since it is kind of difficult to assemble properly. You should know that the Osprey Hand bracer (gauntlet) and fingers are compatible with the Raptor "no thumb no pointer" palm, so your device can be assembled according to the Osprey instructions. At this point, you will need to print both sets of snap pins, (The Raptor and the Osprey, plus the knuckle pins for the "no thumb no pointer") but those are all quick to print.
My name is Peter Binkley. If you need more support, contact me via Google+ and we can chat. I'd be happy to assemble a tidy set of snap pins compatible with your particular configuration.

Don't respond if maybe I should just keep looking to figure this stuff out myself.

  • Are there any mods for a palm in which the user has a 1st finger and thumb?I was figuring modifying the design and having a ring structure around 1st finger. Then, modifying the frame to travel along the top of the hand on the thumb side. Would a different palm be suggested?

  • Which 3D printer do you recommend at which precision and what bed size? Or should I just get someone else to print it?
    Which PLA to use? (Have a quick link to these idiot questions?) I'm a programmer and can probably afford all this.
    I figured, since Im ok with electronics I could work up to motor assisted versions.

  • Is there ONLY 1 grip? I almost expected a quick dial that could be turned on wrist to enable differing finger reticulation.
    Lower 2 fingers completely closed for shelf grip. Even finger closing for cylinder/thumb grip. And differing thumb grips.

  • What software would be good to use to modify the files? Blender 2.7? I have a Mac. (And linux, and windows 10 and android tabled.)


There's a thumbless version of the Talon, but not a thumbless, indexless version. I did make a no-thumb-no-pointer version of the Raptor Hand. That might work for you.
Sounds like you need to join the e-Nable community. Find it on Google+ and ask to join. Then they will let you in. You have lots of questions. e-Nable has lots of answers. Here's my ultra-brief response to your last 3 questions:
Buy an Ultimaker 2; Colorfabb filament:
Yes, only one grip at a time, but you can adjust the grip pattern via the set screws and cables. The thumb angle and position is woefully static, but at least it's robust.
I always use the latest stable Blender. I have a huge .blend file with gobs of development iterations, if you're interested.
Check out the Osprey Hand too. It's mechanically sweet, and much easier to assemble than the Talon.

Where can I buy the thick durable leather?

Links to leather source are in the Osprey/Gamma Raptor assembly instructions:

What is the gripping strength of the Talon 2.7 compared to that of the Raptor?

I don't know about the Raptor Reloaded, but if you're talking about the Raptor Hand, its mechanics are actually pretty similar to the Talon, although I think the Talon 2.7 has the greatest grip strength of any wrist-powered device on Thingiverse. The Talon also relies on the longest range of motion.

Have you made a wrist-powered device yet? I think the Raptor is the easiest one to assemble, so it's probably the best place to start. The Talon is definitely more challenging, especially as shown in the photos.

Is there a Talon Hand Hardware kit that I can purchase?

Well, the hardware sizing depends on the scale of your print. What size were you thinking?
I have a lot of compatible hardware, so I could try to put something together for you.

Do you have a hardware package for a 155% scale print?

Thank you for your prompt reply! My team is thinking 155%. I was thinking a kit would be easier than purchasing all the hardware individually...?

Mar 28, 2015 - Modified Mar 28, 2015

Ok help me out here. I'm trying to build a hand for a friend. I have very little experience with this so not sure on the scaling. I have printed a crosscut of the palm section at 1.6 x. but there is no way it will fit my friends hand. I see other comments that this should be for an adult male. My friends hand is 3 1/8 inches across the palm which is a somewhat small hand. Across the pam and thumb is 3 3/4. Yet at a 1.6 x scale the narrowest part of the palm section is only 2 3/4. Is that what I should be trying to fit? If someone can help me I'd really appreciate it. I don't want to spend a few days printing and assembling this to have it 1/4 in to small :). I can email you a pic of his hand if this will help.

Oh and also ... Should I scale up the cable guide and tensioner? Or leave them the standard size?

Here is probably the best way to determine the print scale for a device. Or I should say, this is how I do it, and I've had pretty good success so far: You will need an image from DIRECTLY ABOVE the client's affected limb laid flat on the table, with a ruler next to that limb. Best if the camera can also be at least 4 feet away from the table, to reduce distortion. If you can get over two meters away, that's even better. Feel free to use zoom and high resolution so that the markings on the ruler are easy to read. Then follow the video tutorial.
You will want this file to get started, unless you're already familiar with Blender: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:564844

e-Nable Device Sizing Blender file
This comment has been deleted.

I only want to make a right hand with all fingers and thumb not really sure which files to print. Is there a list? I see instruction for how to assemble but nothing about what to print. All pics and video seem to be for a left hand not right.

Mar 22, 2015 - Modified Mar 22, 2015
profbink - in reply to Fullsized

Here ya go. :)
ProxPhalSnap (if these are too thick, print PPSnap4small);
For one arm strap: OdyBarsFat3;
If you're using two straps (recommended): ArmBarsStrapFat2.2;
Let us know how it goes.



I've never made a normally closed device, so I can't tell you for sure if it will work very well. I think it should work just fine. Please let me know how it goes.
Yes, a 1.6 scale print would be for a large adult male hand. 1.7 is really huge. Most grown men would fall between 1.5 and 1.6.

Hello! I am rebuilding the talon hand from the ground up in Solidworks to provide on Thingiverse and share with the e-NABLE community. It would be very helpful to know what the intended dimensions were for some of the features. I can measure my own printed Talon, but for the tight tolerance stuff like hinge diameters, snap pin dimensions and tolerance given between rotating surfaces it would be nice to get the exact numbers.

Thanks in advance!

Barrett! This is wonderful!!
Thank you for making a Solidworks version. My feeling is the more people who have access to the designs, the better. I'd be happy to work with you, but I'm totally swamped at the moment, between making a deadline on the collaborative E-Nable Hand 2.0, projected for release at the end of September, and the beginning of the school year at the high school where I teach.
If you can't use a program that puts grid lines on .stl imports (like Blender) I'd suggest printing at a giant scale, like 200% and cutting measurements in half. That will greatly reduce the margin of error caused by differing levels of extrusion by different printers. Navigating around an object in Blender is pretty easy. Select metric, hit numpad 5 for ortho view, and use numpad 1,3,and 7 for front, side and top views, respectively. MMB spins the view and shift-mmb pans. Mouse wheel zooms. Z toggles surface
Please let me know if you have specific questions. When you design, moving surfaces should have a gap of .5mm, so they slide freely.
Thank you very much!

Great advice! I'm looking forward to seeing that e-NABLE 2.0, Ivan Owen was very excited about it when he visited last week.

will be fabricating soon.....

thankyou for The Thing, plz let me know how can i credit you.

You don't have to credit me at all. If you want to, you can, but I have no need for attribution. I just want the designs to benefit people and to be available to all. When you finish, I'd love it if you'd share photos on the page. Also, if you're not a member of the e-Nable Google group yet, you should really join up. Also go to http://enablingthefuture.orgenablingthefuture.org to read our news. Are you making a Talon Hand for a person?

if i want to make a left hand version what do i download to get the right thing.

Hey mavadata, just print the "unipalm left" instead of the right-handed one. Everything else is symmetrical. (I actually have never made the right-handed version, although a couple of my friends have.)

so just download the "unipalm left" and everything else would download whatever is needed for the left hand?

Ok, I just updated the snap distals. You can use the FingersSnapMed and FingersSnapShort files. I'm going to try the short ones, to see if the grip is improved.

Unless you can get chicago screws, print the snap version of the fingers. I'm in the process of fixing some of the shorter fingers, so the longest set (FingersSnap) is in the best shape. You'll print the snap version of the proximal phalanges (ProxPhalSnap) Definitely also use the curved arm bars, or even the arm bars for the Ody Hand, since they are much more comfortable. Print a few spare snap pins in case you lose one. Print also KnucklePins, PalmStencil, CableGuide and CableAnchor.

ok thanks

I just removed the straight arm bars, and added in the bars from the Ody Hand to this page. The straight bars were a mistake. The Ody Hand bars fit better and have space so that a strap can be added without hurting the wearer.

There are new arm bars for an adult build. #8 flat head screws tap right into the holes when printed at 1.6 (a large male hand)

What are the advantages of this Talon Hand compared to de Robohand? How functional is it, has it been tested on patients?

The Robohand files are great, but not entirely complete. The snap-together Robohand is also great, but a bit tricky/hacky to get to work on an actual person. I designed the Talon to be ergonomic and user-friendly. My son uses it, and there are a few other clients who use it too. The designs are based on extensive testing and tweaking, and I update the files frequently.

I sent you a message, did you recieve it?

Wrote a reply and forgot to hit Send. You should have it now.