AMS Spring 2023

Rocky Hill School’s Interact Club & NEIT Collaborate to 3D Print Prosthetic Hands for Child Amputees

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download-283D printing is for all ages today, as we are continuously reminded. And while we see many students at the helm, what’s even better is when young ones are benefiting from what is being created. This was certainly the case recently, as 15 prosthetic hands were 3D printed for children in Rwanda, thanks to a collaboration between Rocky Hill School’s Interact Club and the New England Institute of Technology (NEIT).

The hands will be given to amputee children through the Enable Community Foundation, a nonprofit corporation created to help individuals around the world in need of prosthetic limbs. This is also a nonprofit that we follow often as they are working with others, using 3D printing to do good deeds on a continual basis, from setting up unique contests to programs such as massive ‘hand drives.’

In this latest project, the schools 3D printed the parts which will sent to the Interact Club in Rwanda to be given out to children in the community. They will be receiving the now famed 3D printed Raptor hand, which was created by several of the leading designers at e-NABLE. For this project, the staff and students at New England Tech’s Mechanical Engineering Technology Department created the parts on an Objet30 Prime 3D printer with RGD720 Full Cure material.

The Objet Prime 3D printer

The Objet30 Prime 3D printer

3D printing took about 20 hours, with each hand costing close to a mere $50. Funds were donated for printing from the East Greenwich Rotary, totaling $750—along with another matching donation of $750 from a Rotary District grant. Other hardware and materials were purchased as the students at Rocky Hill raised over $1,000 to cover those expenses.

No small event, as the hands were being printed and readied for shipment, students from New England Tech and Rocky Hill School came to check out the results, along with East Greenwich Rotary members.

The Interact Club and the Rotaract Club are sponsored by the East Greenwich Rotary’s New Generations program, an organization that emphasizes community service, along with their many initiatives. The idea is to bring students together as they focus on giving back. Currently, the New Generations program is working with students from:

  • East Greenwich High School
  • Cole Middle School
  • Rocky Hill School
  • New England Institute of Technology
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NEIT Mechanical Engineering instructor Andrea Unger explains the process of 3D printing the prosthetics to students. [Photo: East Greenwich Pendulum]

The prosthetic hand project began just last year, and now includes the New England Tech Rotaract Club. The Rotary club also sponsors other student community services such as the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.

While we see so many innovations emerging from classrooms and universities around the world, nothing is quite as inspiring as seeing students using 3D printing technology to help children in developing countries who are need of items such as prosthetics. Discuss in the 3D Printed Hands forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source: The East Greenwich Pendulum]

 

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