Teens use 3D printers to make prosthetic hands for less fortunate children
Published Wednesday, January 13, 2016 10:01PM EST
A trio of industrious Edmonton teenagers are learning the science behind 3D printing to build prosthetic hands for the children of low-income families in Alberta and others around the world.
“They’ll be able to have a better life than what they have now,” one of the teens, Lucas Whitfield, told CTV Edmonton. “I’d really like to see their face when they get this.”
The three high school students began the project after their teacher, Aaron Dublenko, got the idea from a Calgary businessman who specializes in 3D printing.
“I have two small children myself,” Dublenko said. “I can't imagine what if one of my children at a young age lost their hand.”
Dublenko ordered prosthetic hand kits online for about $25 each. The students aim to make 50 hands in total, with each prosthetic requiring about 13 hours of handiwork.
If made professionally, a prosthetic hand can sell for thousands of dollars.
The students followed instructions from Colin Pishke, a Calgary businessman, who helped acquaint them with the 3D printers.
“Operating a 3D printer can be a little tricky. There's definitely a learning curve involved, so my role is to help them with that process,” Pishke said.
An added bonus: the hands are made from corn-based plastic and will biodegrade if they’re ever thrown away.
Once the teenagers prove that the hands are in good working condition, they’ll begin scouting out suitable recipients. Dublenko says he hopes to begin the process by the end of January.
With files from CTV Edmonton