3D Printing Prosthetic Hands
3D printing is changing our world in many ways. Some people make toys and trinkets while others, like us here at Print Your Mind, help solve problems on a global scale. 3D printing prosthetic limbs and donating them to those in need is one such initiative. My name is Colin Pischke and I am the owner of Print Your Mind 3D . I am very excited to announce that we have teamed up with a one-of-a-kind education initiative, correctly termed “INNOVATE” that allows students to create their own self-directed project to work towards solutions to global and local issues while earning high school credits. INNOVATE is coordinated by Alberta Emerald Award winning teacher, Aaron Dublenko, who was recently awarded “Canada’s Greenest School” for supporting student-led environmental initiatives within the program. As part of his program, Aaron finds industry partners to help with his environmental/sustainability and humanitarian projects. That’s why we decided to reach out to Aaron and the Innovate program, to get students involved in the project. “The students can apply their learning in a real world context and touch the lives of others in the process. When we have an authentic experience like this, it doesn’t end with printing the hands and giving it to someone, it only begins there because now we get to start to imagine what is possible and how we can make the world a better place for many. Our actions have a profound impact on someone’s life. We take education for granted because we don’t understand all of the ways it effects us until we help to create the world we want to see around us.” says Aaron.
We jumped at the opportunity to partner on a project to provide a number of prosthetic hands to the e-NABLE foundation. e-NABLE is a global non-profit organization built with the purpose to “enable the future” by providing 3D printed prosthetics to children in developing countries who don’t have access to such luxuries. e-NABLE made the files available online to download for anyone with a 3D printer to create. When you make something as life changing as this, two lives are impacted. The student or person actually making the prosthetic, and the child who receives it. We believe this is something much larger than just a project you put on display on your desk.
We want to put on a live event at City hall to print and assemble 30 e-NABLE hands to be donated to the initiaitve. At this event we would invite students and the general public to learn about the science and engineering behind printing, assembling and then getting the hands to the children who need them.
With each hand costing about $100 each for printing materials, printing time and hardware, the $3500 would help us provide at least 30 prosthetic hands.
We are incredibly grateful for the support of people around Canada, and the world, to help us make this project a sucess!
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We are now joining forces with many new students, teachers, school boards, parents and businesses to extend the reach of the benefits that will come from the project. We are excited to be working with the Calgary Board of Education along with Edmonton Public Schools, the University of Lethbridge, Roots 2 Stem and other organizations who will be helping us bring this project to life.
There are currently 15+ students in both Edmonton and Calgary who are gaining high school credits specifically for 3D printing prosthetic hands for this e-NABLE hand project through the Innovate program. These 3D printed prosthetic hands will be donated to the e-NABLE foundation where they will be distributed around the world to children who would otherwise not have access to them. Not only have people wanting to help reached out to us, but also those with sons or daughters in need of hands right here in Alberta. We are very excited to say that we will be matching at least two students taking part in the project with recipients within Alberta.
We also wanted to share a story with you that was very special to us. We recently met with McKenzie and Clara (pictured below). Mckenzie is a high school student taking part in the project. She will be creating a custom hand just for Clara, a 4 year old Calgarian born with deformity in her left hand. We met with the two of them to take measurements so we can begin building a new hand for Clara. Clara told us that sometimes her friends in dance class aren't sure if they should hold her effected limb while doing group activities. She wants a purple "robot-hand", as she calls it, so she can hold hands with her fellow classmates and feel like she is the same as the other students. We will be working with McKenzie over the next month to make sure she can do just that.
We are so thankful to every one of our friends, family, community members and people around the world who contributed to helping us bring this project to life. Without your support we would not be able to undertake this truly inspiring initiative. Real change will come from this, both here in Alberta, and around the world. If you would like more information on how to get involved, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through all of the publicity that the story has received, I have been able to connect with so many people looking to get involved. Some of the people that have contacted me are: students, teachers, businesses and individuals. They are all seeking ways to support this project to make it successful in different ways. Not only are there people who are contacting me to support the cause, there are also Albertans who have been educated in the possibilities of 3D printing who have a need for a prosthetic for their son or daughter. I am excited to announce that I have committed to a local family seeking a prosthetic.
Regardless of how much money we raise, we will make a significant impact. I feel truly blessed to be able to lead an initiative like this, and to have such overwhelming support. That being said, I am confident we will be able to reach our goal. Myself, and many others around Alberta, are doing everything we can to have the largest impact possible. Please help us to continue to spread the word. We will change lives both here in Alberta, and around the world.
I want to thank each and every person who has contributed to the campaign. I can't do this alone, but with your support, we will create a world of change in these children's lives.
This is incredible to read, my sister was recently home fire and lost all of her finger tips. Your inspiring me that she will be able to return home in a normal way with the help of 3D printing.