Let’s Give Them a Hand! (A 3D Printed Prosthetic One)

NaBlogPoMo Day Seven

Yesterday I got to hang out with the technology club at my son Andrew’s middle school. I should point out that Andrew stealthily avoided me the entire time.

Anyway, while the boy was being too cool to acknowledge his own mother, I was downstairs in the “makers’ space” playing with prosthetic appendages that students had made using a digital printer.

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I should’ve run those plastic fingers through my hair before taking this selfie. What a mess!

Examining the fully operational, light-weight, plastic hands, complete with working joints and textured fingertips, I was blown away impressed with the ingenuity of today’s middle schoolers.  The only thing I ever created at that age was an ocean floor-themed shoe box diorama that leaked sand all over the science lab.

And these kids are making hands…..for real people…who hear about their program and sign up to receive a hand. That’s so awesome!!! (I’m super impressed with these students…sarcasm not included.)

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According to Mrs. Hockenberry, her students are able to produce fully functional artificial limbs with a 3D printer, a few small hardware pieces and some twine. Cost per limb is about $50, compared to the $40,000 patients spend on traditional prosthetics.

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I was having so much fun playing prosthetic patty-cake with the kids that I didn’t even think to ask how well the hands hold up compared to their high end counterparts.

I’ll try to remember to ask next week before our prosthetic rock-paper-scissors tournament.

 

 

 

 

 

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About angelaweight

Awkward, imperfect, ADD wife to tightly wound financial planner, mom of two boys, and rescuer of lucky stray animals. I should probably see a therapist rather than write a blog. But hopefully I can offer a few laughs along the way.
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10 Responses to Let’s Give Them a Hand! (A 3D Printed Prosthetic One)

  1. Cathy says:

    That is awesome because people pay so much money for prosthetics. Better living through children.

    Like

  2. I love the level of work kids can do now, or play–so advanced!

    Like

  3. CaptCruncher says:

    How absolutely awe inspiring. Do the kids understand how truly amazing this is? Wow…. what a cool experience!

    Like

  4. loisaltermark says:

    Okay, that is amazing! What kids can do today is so inspiring!

    Like

  5. I am very impressed and amazed. Wow. I hope this is the beginning of lowering the ridiculously high costs for anything ‘special needs’ or the handicapped need.

    Like

  6. Very, very cool. The only technology I remember from junior was the fog machine malfunctioning at the dance. I did take shop and we made a really cool thing from old bowling pins we knocked the shell off up, exposing the wood. So bowling pin craft vs. Robotic hand. Don’t think things have changed much.

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  7. nfhill says:

    I saw this on TV and it is so cool, and that your son’s school is doing this is way, way, way cool!

    Like

  8. mysocalledmidlife.net says:

    wow, amazing and exciting!

    Like

  9. WendysHat says:

    Fun! Those 3 d printers are amazing! It’s really great what technology has done for those who need it. Wow!

    Like

  10. elinwaldal says:

    I just saw a demo of one of those printers at Costco! Amazing! Oh and I rather like the unbrushed hair, makes me feel at home!

    Like

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