Tennessee high-schoolers build prosthetic hand for classmate in need
15-year-old Tennessee boy Sergio Peralta now has a robotic hand, thanks to his classmates. A group of high school students designed a robotic hand for their newcomer.
As reported by CBS News, Sergio Peralta was born with an incompletely formed right hand. He developed writing skills with his left hand. He claimed he could manage practically all other jobs by developing strategies for everyday activities like carrying a water bottle from class to class.
"In the first days of school, I honestly felt like hiding my hand," he said to CBS News. "Like nobody would ever find out."
One of the teachers of the school's engineering program came up with the idea that their classmates could help him by developing a robotic hand. "They ended up offering me, like, 'We could build your prosthetic hand,' and I never expected it," he said. "Like, never in a million years.
The crew, who had no idea whether their plan would succeed due to lack of access to internet models and a 3D printer, scored a home run. Peralta made his first use of his right hand to catch a baseball while wearing the prosthetic. "They changed my life," Peralta expressed his feelings.
3D printing for prosthetics
According to Xometry, prosthetics 3D printing uses additive manufacturing technologies to construct artificial body parts rather than traditional subtractive manufacturing processes. Amputation surgery may be required in some circumstances when a victim's leg or limbs are severely afflicted by a disease that causes atrophy and decomposition (gangrene). In any case, 3D-printed prosthetics are used to replace missing limbs.
For a variety of reasons, 3D printing has proven effective in the production of prostheses. The production time, expense, and weight of prosthetics are all significantly reduced when they are made via 3D printing.
The process of making prosthetics traditionally is expensive and arduous. The average cost of a prosthetic arm is above $2,000, and the amputee may have to wait a long time (between 3-6 weeks) for creation and delivery. On the other hand, 3D prosthetic printing is inexpensive, has a quick turn-around time, and the materials are easily accessible. A 3D-printed arm may be created in one day for $395.
From 1990 to 1999, researchers and medical professionals worked to develop 3D-printed prostheses. As a result of their study, the first 3D organs and dental implants were produced. However, research was still being done on 3D-printed prosthetic hands, arms, or legs. Finally, a 3D-printed prosthetic hand prototype was developed in 2011.