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Boston gives a helping hand

Boston gives a helping hand


Seventh grade students at Boston Middle School in conjunction with the LaPorte County Public Library recently constructed four usable prosthetic hands for children with missing limbs.

The LaPorte County Public Library was honored with a grant to help purchase the hardware for the bionic hands, and it reached out to us to see if Mrs. Smith’s seventh grade students were interested in 3D printing actual hand parts. From there, they printed the hands and volunteered their time outside of school to assemble the hands at the library “Build Night” on April 17th.

Each hand took about three to four days to print. After printing the parts, the hands took about three hours to be fully finished.

“It was fun working on the hands because we knew that we were helping other people who need prosthetics,” Karly Reed, seventh grader, said

An organization called E-Nable will send these hands to children with missing limbs. The normal cost for a robotic hand is between $10,000 – $100,000. The hands that were assembled by the students cost about $54.00 all together, from the filament to the hardware. The public library provided all of the handheld tools that make building the hand easier.

“We were very thankful to have a local library system that is so involved in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math) and are willing to reach out into the community,” Smith said.

Users of the prosthetics must have a functional wrist and enough palm to push against the hand to close one’s fingers. The E-Nable program is able to ship hardware kits to customers depending on the type of hand you are building. There are plans that can be printed off online for free and video tutorials to understand how to build the hands.

“We are hoping to continue to work with the E-Nable program each year and expand the types of prints that we are able to print and construct. This is a wonderful program that allows our students to see real-world applications on how 3D printing can benefit life. We are very proud of our students and community for taking the time to help,” Smith said.

Boston students have yet again found a way to impact the world, this time by literally giving a helping hand.


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