Paradiddle, named for an essential rudiment of drum beats, is an open-source 3D-printed upper-extremity prosthetic designed specifically for an amputee drummer. The designer, Dominic Siguang Ma, worked with renowned amputee drummer, Greg Anton, to develop unique features that allow the drummer to play more intuitively and comfortably.
designer: Dominic Siguang Ma
User: Greg Anton
Filming and Photography: Joshua Skirtich
Paradiddle is made out of 3D printed HP 12 Glass Filled Nylon Plastic with existing mechanical parts, which will allow the user to simply download the file, print it and use it.
One of the main challenges was to design a mechanism that mimics how a human hand controls a drumstick's bounciness. Controlling the bounce is an essential part of the "drum roll". Paradiddle gives this control back to amputees using an adjustable polycarbonate spring. To adjust the spring, the drummer pushes his leg against the control bar and the adjuster is released, allowing it to slide in the slot. In a neutral state, an aluminum stop attached to the spring drops into the hole and prevents the adjuster from sliding around in the slot when playing. While most current drumming prosthetics are fixed or have low adjustability, Paraddidle provides high adjustability that is quickly actuated by a single hand.
To guarantee a comfortable fit, the inside of the socket is covered with layered EVA foam, which is both soft and smooth. The holder of the drumsticks accommodates various sizes from 0.4in to 0.625in.
Paradiddle was validated with Greg Anton, a renowned amputee drummer who has been playing drums for more than 50 years and has performed on numerous recordings and at thousands of concerts worldwide. He also performed in 2016 Rio Paraolympic Trailer "Yes, I can". Greg gave valuable feedback that has inspired further development on the project.