July 22, 2014

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3D printer makes prosthetic hand for boy

NEW PALTZ – The 3D printer at SUNY New Paltz was put to perhaps the best use since it was assembled at the college last year.

Joseph Gilbert of Chester, who is six, was born without any fingers on his left hand. It’s a condition that affects one in every 10,000 births, said his mother, Dori Gilbert.

A friend of a friend heard about the 3D printer at SUNY New Paltz and for under $20 in materials, Joseph now has a hand and by flexing his wrist, he can control the fingers of the robohand to grip objects.

As Joseph grows, he can be fitted with a larger hand, said Daniel Freedman, dean of the School of Science and Engineering.

“We actually built the hand around a scan of his hand so it is essentially printed out, molded for his particular hand and then as his hand grows, we can very easily the three dimensional computer design to fit him. We are also planning some upgrades to it as we go,” he said.

Freedman said creating functional prosthetics for children “is one of the best examples of how 3D design and printing can be used to build remarkable objects at a small fraction of the cost of standard fabrication methods.”

Joseph happy with his new hand.  So are Cat Wilson of the SUNY New Paltz 3D Center and Science and Engineering Dean Freedman


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