The technology of 3d printing makes it possible for a young girl to get a new hand. Kate Berkholz is a two-year-old from Huntsville who was born with Synbrachydactyly. Because of this she couldn’t fully develop her left hand in the womb, so she misses fingers on her left hand. Her parents went to a lot of places to find out what type of options they had.
Because they weren’t fans of the surgical route, the Berkholz family searched for other options. 3D printing gave them a new option; the 3D printed hand. The striking fact about such a 3D printed hand is that it only costs $ 5,-. Intern Shaw Betts at Zero Point Frontiers uses the 3D printer to create a new prosthetic for the young girl.
Shawn Betts says in WHNT the difficulty of a process like this is that kids constantly grow. However, the scaleability and affordability of 3D printing technology addresses that dilemma.”The cost of one of these hands is under $5,” he says. “And we can do a couple of designs by changing little parts that cost 50 cents or less.”
Because it doesn’t cost much to create a 3D printed hand the team was able to design several fittings for the two-year-old. There are still some starting problems. For instance, Kate doesn’t have enough wrist control yet to use the 3D printed hand. However, the team doesn’t think this is a disappointment. It only pushes the workers to create something better. The next hand will have a glove for better fit and wires for smoother action. “This technology is just amazing”, concludes Betts.