Long Island high school students use 3-D printing to make a prosthetic hand

Byby Jeremy Murn WABC logo
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
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Science and technology students at Newfield High School used 3D printing to make a prosthetic hand.

SELDEN, Long Island (WABC) -- Students at a high school on Long Island used a 3-D printer to create a prosthetic hand, and now, they're hoping to be connected with someone who needs one.

Students in a technology class at Newfield High School in Selden used an open source design to print the prosthesis.

"We started off by getting a design template, a model," student Daniel Iacobacci said. "It was meant for a small child, an infant. So we scaled it, I think, about 150 times the original size to get it to where we needed it to be to fit an adult."

It took the class several weeks to tweak the design and get everything right so that it fit together perfectly. A science class then took over the process of putting the pieces together.

"We all had groups, some people did fingers and put that together, some people did the Velcro," student Joe Muller said. "The foam that's in the inside for the cushio,n some people did that, and then we all came together and connected the pieces."

Technology teacher Katie Lewkowicz developed the project after seeing a similar story in a newsletter sent out by Makerbot, the manufacturer of the 3-D printer. That story highlighted e-Nable, an open-source 3-D printing community.

"What e-Nable does is it teams up anybody that has a 3-D printer with a person in need," Lewkowicz said.

The two classes are now waiting to be connected with someone. When they are, the students will create a new hand, adjusting the design to the specifications of the patient.