Dec 23, 2016 | By Julia

A four-year-old boy from Doncaster, UK has received his christmas present early this year. Meet Brooklyn Brentnall-Croydon, the proud new owner of his very own 3D printed Iron Man hand.

The young Tony Stark fan, who was born with one hand, will now be able to do activities most of us take for granted every day, such as open presents, hold a fork and knife, and eventually, ride a bike – all with two hands and the exceptional style of his favourite superhero.

“This is just a dream come true for us – it has completed our Christmas,” said Brooklyn’s mother Marie Brentnall. “Now he’s got two hands, he thinks he’s a superhero now – he loves all The Avengers stuff – but Brooklyn has always been a little superhero in our eyes.”

While 3D printed prosthetics are becoming increasingly common, less often do we hear about those of the superhero variety. Made by Design Technology researchers at Shotton Hall Academy in Durham, each part of the marvelous hand, including screws and fixings, was printed individually over a 20 hour period. Brooklyn’s new hand now opens and closes whenever he flexes his wrist.

The initiative began when Brooklyn asked Santa for a bike this Christmas. The four-year-old’s grandmother Jacqui Housley reached out to a local teaching group on Facebook, asking if anyone could help outfit her grandson with a prosthetic hand. The post eventually made its way to Shotton Hall Academy.

“I saw a post on Facebook by Jacqui asking if anyone could make a 3D printed hand,” explained Head of Design Technology at the school Scott Bradley. “After seeing the heartwarming post and having a four-year-old myself we just had to make it come true.

“We had the technology, the 3D printer, so it just went from there,” Bradley said. “It just great that the technology can produce something so instrumental to this young lad’s life.”

The whole process, from the initial Facebook post to the completion of the hand, took a total of two months. Brooklyn is now ready to open his presents with both hands, and just in time for Christmas.

Bradley has even vowed to update and remake the prosthetic when Brooklyn grows out of his current hand.

“Words do not do justice the moment Brooklyn saw the hand for the first time and realised what was going on,” his mother commented. “At first he wasn’t sure, but he’s honestly over the moon – we all are.

“Everything was going through my mind. It was a chance for our little boy to do things other children take for granted.”

The Marvel-inspired prosthetic is so cool that even Brooklyn’s dad wants a piece of the action. “I think it’s marvellous, perfect, and I really want one as well,” said Scott Croydon. “He doesn’t let anything stop him and seeing him using the hand is just truly wonderful.”


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