Dec 22, 2017 | By Tess

This Christmas is sure to be a happy one for nine-year-olds Josh Daly and Olly Mancini who have both received customized 3D printed prosthetic hands this year.

Though they live an ocean apart and have never met, Josh Daly and Olly Mancini have a couple of things in common: they were both born without a left hand, and they now both have personalized 3D printed prosthetic hands with which they can play more easily.

Josh Daly, a nine-year-old from Bristol, England, was recently fitted with a 3D printed hand, which was his number one request for Christmas this year. The young boy became interested in having his own 3D printed prosthetic after learning about them online. When he asked his parents if we could try one, they were fully supportive.

“It was much cooler for him to have one of the printed hands than one of the traditional prosthetic arms,” said Josh’s mother Kelly, who explained that he had never used or needed a prosthetic hand before.

In making the prosthetic hand, Josh’s parents reached out to FabLab Essex, a manufacturing studio that specializes in 3D printed limbs, which was quick to get on board with the project. Now, after having taken Josh’s measurements last April, the young boy has finally received his customized 3D printed hand, which he will use to pull crackers and open gifts this Christmas.

“It really is the best present that Josh could ever have wished for,” said his mother. “He was thrilled when he tried on his new hand for the first time, and could pick things up properly. It has given him so much more independence and confidence.”

“He has always managed really well, but now he can feel more like the other children now that he’s got his new hand,” she added. “It was wonderful to see him being able to pull Christmas crackers for the first time this year with his sister. It’s something that I never thought I’d be able to see.”

Across the pond, in Scituate, Rhode Island, nine-year-old Olly Mancini has also been gifted with his very first 3D printed prosthetic hand and he is over the moon about it.

(Image: The Providence Journal)

The 3D printed prosthetic, notable for its green and purple color scheme, was created by a team of students from Scituate High School, who were commissioned for the project by Olly’s adoptive mother, Nicole.

Nicole, a middle school math teacher, was inspired to give her son a 3D printed prosthetic hand after reading about Enabling the Future, a network of volunteers who 3D print prosthetics for children in need. She reached out to students from the high school’s career and technical program to help bring the project to life.

(Image: The Providence Journal)

The students developed the hand for Olly based on a model built by the Rochester Institute of Technology, which uses wires and toggles to activate the fingers. They also learnt how to customize the size of the 3D hand model to fit Olly’s arm using software.

And though the students encountered a few technical difficulties during the manufacturing process (a jammed printer, for one), once the pieces were printed it only took about a week for the students to assemble the hand and present it to a very excited Olly.

The young boy was given his new hand this week in front of the students and teachers who created and facilitated the project. “I love it!” he exclaimed once it had been strapped to his arm and he successfully tested out his new 3D printed prosthetic.

(Image: The Providence Journal)

“What was witnessed this morning by everyone was the power of authentic learning by our students in Scituate doing something amazing for a very special young boy,” commented Scituate Supt. Larry Filippelli. “I believe everyone’s lives were touched in a positive way by this project led by our fantastic teachers and administrative staff.”

The high school students have also committed to updating the 3D printed prosthetic as Olly uses it and grows out of it.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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