Mar 30, 2016 | By Tess

e-NABLE, the global network of volunteer makers who change lives by designing and creating 3D printed prosthetic hands for children, has once again warmed our hearts by helping yet another special child to believe that anything is possible.

Peyton Andry, a fourth grader at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio, was born with a smaller right hand due to a condition called symbrachydactyly. Though the number of things he can do with his condition, like tae-kwon-do, basketball, and even playing the drums, are impressive, certain small things like holding a glass have remained difficult for him. Thanks to the e-NABLE community and 3D printing splicing software company Simplify3D, however, Peyton now has an awesome 3D printed hand that can help him do a number of new things.

Peyton, who is described by his father Steve Andry as a confident and self-assured young man, says of his experience with a disability, “I don’t like calling my condition different. I call it special. I’ve learned not to let other people judge me for what I look like, but sometimes the kids ask lots of questions, and that part can be annoying.”

Wanting to help Peyton and to show him the possibilities of 3D printed hand prosthetics, his music teacher at school reached out to Simplify3D and e-NABLE to see if anything could be done to help him. Upon hearing the inspiring story of the fourth grader, Simplify3D reached out to another family in their network to connect the two. It was through this chance of good fortune that Peyton was introduced to Luke Dennison, aka Little Cool Hand Luke, a young man with the same condition as Peyton who has been using 3D printed hands since last year.

Luke Dennison and family

Luke made headlines last year with his 3D printed hand which was made by his father Gregg Dennison, an active volunteer maker for e-NABLE and a spokesperson for the organization’s noble cause. Since then, under the moniker Little Cool Hand Luke, the young man has gone on to become a public figure inspiring other children with similar conditions, and showing the amazing possibilities of 3D printed hand prosthetics.

Upon meeting each other, both Luke and Peyton immediately bonded, talking about common interests like Star Wars, and the technology that was to connect them further, 3D printing. Seeing what Luke’s 3D printed hand prosthesis could do and what the possibilities of 3D printing could be, Peyton decided that he too would like his very own 3D printed hand. Gregg Dennison and the team at Simplify3D quickly got to work designing and building a 3D printed hand that would be the perfect fit for Peyton, both in terms of style and function. Peyton even got to choose which colors he wanted his hand to be, for which he drew inspiration from Iron Man’s color scheme.

With the design finalized for Peyton’s 3D printed hand, Simplify3D additively manufactured the individual parts, a total of 30 components, using a number of simultaneously working 3D printers. In preparation for his new hand, Peyton also put together a presentation for his classmates explaining the technology and the potential of 3D printed prosthetics, which even ended up garnering some local media attention.

Finally, in February 2016, Luke presented Peyton with his new and impressive 3D printed hand, who was thrilled to try it on and try it out. Together the two boys played with their 3D printed hands, playing catch, high-fiving, and picking up various items.

Peyton Andry and family

“It is clear that the hand means so much more to Peyton than his new physical abilities,” said Steve Andry. “The hand produced a sense of confidence and purpose. He gets to be seen more for his character, personality and heart, not for what he may be missing.”

3D printing a hand for Peyton involved the help of almost a dozen dedicated volunteers, including Luke’s father, the team at Simplify3D, and a number of teachers from Peyton’s school. And, as Peyton accurately points out, it is not only exciting for the person receiving the 3D printed hand, but equally as exciting for those who made it, who are able to see how their hard work is helping someone.

“The opportunity to be involved with organizations such as e-NABLE and help people like Luke and Peyton is inspiring,” said Clayton Webster, CEO of Simplify3D. “3D printing empowers innovation through technology, but what is magical to me is the outcome that was created by a community working collaboratively to develop a solution and help others.”



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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