Children's Health

Teen makes 3-D printed hand for brother with teacher's help

A 3D printer fabricating an ear.

A 3D printer fabricating an ear.  (Lindsay France/Cornell University Photography)

With his teacher's help, a northern Virginia student has used a 3-D printer to make a prosthetic hand for his younger brother.

Media outlets report 16-year-old Gabriel Filippini approached Kurt O'Connor, a technology teacher at Loudoun County's Park View High School, with the idea of using the classroom 3-D printer to build the hand for 6-year-old Lucas Filippini, who was born without a left hand.

O'Connor agreed to give it a try and the two began their pursuit, receiving assistance along the way.

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An organization called Enabling the Future gave them free designs for the hand, and another group, Maker Smith, helped them perfect the knuckle joints.

Lucas received his new hand on his birthday earlier this month and says he's grateful he can now do things with both hands.