Introduction: Mechanical Paper Hands

About: Making the most of things by making the most out of things.

Making mechanical paper hands is a great way to show how the tendons in a hand work and a fun afternoon of cutting and sticking.

When the muscles in our forearms contract, they pull on the tendons in our fingers which make them bend. This is the same thing that happens when you pull on the strings of your mechanical hand.

Try relaxing your hand and gently squeezing your arm below the wrist. You might notice your fingers moving as you pull on the tendons!

Step 1: What You Need

For this project, you will need:

  • Card
  • Straws (paper or plastic)
  • String
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Step 2: Make a Hand Template

First, draw around your hand with your fingers out straight.

Cut out the outline of your hand and make pencil marks where the joints should be. Slightly bend the card at each joint to make it easier for the finger to curl later.

Step 3: Make a Flexible Finger

Tape a piece of string slightly longer than the hand to the back of one of the fingertips.

Cut a straw into three small pieces and one long piece which roughly match the size of the finger sections. Thread the string through each section and tape them down.

Try it out before moving on to the other fingers.

Step 4: Make More Fingers

Repeat this for the other fingers, using only two pieces in the thumb.

Be sure to test as you go and make sure you don't tape down any part of the string.

Step 5: All Done!

Enjoy your mechanical hand!

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