High school class creates prosthetic hand for 9-year-old girl

A high school class at Boylan High School, IL is using a 3D printer to create a prosthetic hand for Kylie Wicker, a 9-year-old from nearby Roscoe, IL, who has been upset about other children staring at her underdeveloped left hand.

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Kylie Wicker. Image via ABC.

Kylie’s parents, Jeromy and Sharon Wicker have considered getting their daughter a prosthetic hand before, but their insurance would only cover 80% of the cost for a single prosthetic. Since it’s so expensive, the Wickers were planning to wait until Kylie was older and had stopped growing to buy the prosthetic. But once Jeromy came across a video online of a father who made a 3D-printed hand for his son with a condition similar to Kylie’s, everything changed.

“I was just Googling 3D printers in my area and I saw that the Boylan students had a 3D printer donated to them,” Jeromy Wicker told ABC News. “I just emailed them and then they got back to me a few days later that they have already started working on it.”

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Kylie’s purple prosthetic. Image via ABC.

The 3D printer, which costs $2,000, was donated to Boylan last fall, and prompted the school to get a 3D-printing educational license. Bud May, an engineering graphics teacher who now teaches an upper-level class that uses 3D-printing technology, found instructions online on how to create the 3D prosthetic. The website he found them on,Robohand, says they’re a group that’s been making prosthetic hands for individuals in recent years using 3D printers as an alternative to standard prosthetics.

When May asked his class if they were interested in learning how to create Kylie a prosthetic hand, the answer was a “unanimous yes.”

Since the request from Kylie’s father and finding the instructions online, May and his class have been working on creating the prosthetic hand to fit over Kylie’s knuckles, which would eventually allow her to hold items like a real hand does.

Kylie will actually be receiving a total of two prosthetics, one pink and the other purple, all costing less than $20.

Boylan High School is now planning to help another child with a similar issue as an extra service project for the students.

Story via ABC News.

Written for Electronic Products.

 

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2 Comments to “High school class creates prosthetic hand for 9-year-old girl”

  1. What a beautiful story! I LOVE it, and hope to see the final version with Kylie smiling with her new hand(s). Thanks for the news, I love when a story is technology + happy ending. thanks again!
    – Zachary from http://quickmeups.com

    • I’ve been on the lookout for any updates but haven’t seen any. How a high school class came together to help Kylie makes for a real touching, beautiful story, so I’m thinking the ending is a happy one. Thanks so much for reading, Zachary!

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