3D Printed Fingers Help Two Year Old Alabama Girl Play

Share this Article

Over the last 6-12 months we have seen countless stories about how 3D printing is helping to change the lives of those in need, with the use of customized, cheap prosthetic devices. This story is out of Huntsville Alabama, kate-1and involves a two year old toddler named Kate Berkholtz, who was born without fingers on her left hand. Prosthetic devices for children are extra costly because they outgrow them so quickly, requiring expensive upgrades or even an entirely new device. For Kate’s family the costs of traditional prosthetics were out of their budget. Literally it could cost them tens of thousands of dollars a year.

Instead they turned to 3D printing for help. Jason Hundley’s firm, Zero Point Frontiers, with the help of intern Shawn Betts, was able to design, customize, print, and assemble the new finger device for Kate within a day. The materials for one device costs just around $5, which is a far cry from the thousands that doctors wanted for a similar product.  With the new finger device, Kate is now able to use her hand in a much more efficient manner, allowing her to play just like the rest of the kids her age.

Hundley and his team have even greater plans for the future of these devices.

“We’ve talked about modularizing it. You know, for lack of better term, like a Swiss Army knife. We’re talking maybe just make a locked hand so she could ride a bike. And you could do that with the 3-D printing because my cost of printing those – the plastic on that is like sixty cents. Print it, see if it works. If it doesn’t work, interchange it,” said kate2Hundley.

Dan Carsen of WBHM, in Alabama, had an interesting commentary with Hundley in which the subject turned to the future of these prosthetic devices. Hundley stated that he could not wait for “fully automated, robotic, neuro-controlled prosthetic for $5,” to which Carson replied “How far away is that,”. Hundley’s response, “Probably about 10 years. Researchers have already connected sensors to nerves so people can feel through prosthetics. And some are gearing up to print organs. But right now, a simple plastic printed hand is making a little girl and her parents happy as she picks things up in ways she couldn’t before.”

Clearly the future is bright, and 3D printing is leading the way.  This story about Kate is being repeated all over the world, at a pace which is exponentially progressing. Discuss Kate’s story at 3DPrintBoard. The full interview with Hundley can be listened to below, thanks to NPR.

Share this Article


Recent News

Design Your Own 3D Model for Printing in CAD Software — All Online!

Portugal: Minho’s Love is One of the Largest 3D Printed Art Installations Ever



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Investigating 3D Printed Biomodels in Experimental Blood Flow Studies

There are many applications for 3D printing in the biomedical research community, such as lab-on-a-chip tools, surgical planning, and drug delivery. Yet another is 3D biomodels, which is the focus...

Portugal: Cork 3D Printing Composite Shows Promise for Enhancing Polyurethane Foams

In the paper “3D printed cork / polyurethane composite foams,” authors N. Gama, A. Ferreira, and A. Barros-Timmons delve further into the world of enhanced materials for better performance in...

Generative Design Methods Combine 3D Printing & Organic Evolution

“Go take your lessons from nature, that’s where our future lies.” – Leonardo da Vinci Virginia Commonwealth University student Mohammad Jawad takes a forward-looking approach to manufacturing, as 3D printing...

Portugal: Consortium Led By Adira Aims to do SLM 3D Printing With One Cubic Meter Build Volumes

Industrial manufacturers continue the push to integrate SLM processes into large scale projects, especially in 3D printing and additive manufacturing with metal; in fact, they are so serious about this...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Print Services

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!