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Local Man Creates 3-D Printed Hand for a Boy Born Without Finger - KOAM TV 7

Local Man Creates 3-D Printed Hand for a Boy Born Without Fingers

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

A 4 year old boy born without fingers on his left hand will soon be able to pick up his toys with no problem at all. It’s all because of a Carl Junction man and his 3-D printer.

Mason Bischof is like any 4 year old boy, he loves toys, his baby brother, and watching cartoons.

“I love paw patrol,” he says.

But he was born premature and without fingers on his left hand.

“He has symbrachydactyly and it hasn't really slowed him down but basically he has no fingers on his left hand but he does have a thumb with limited movement,” says his father Joe Bischof.

Soon Mason will have a custom hand created by a 3-D printer just for him. The Bischof’s were connected with Daniel Hawkins through Enabling the Future, a nonprofit organization made up of volunteers who use 3-D printing to help people with similar disabilities.

Today, Hawkins scans Mason's arm so that the measurements are exact and the hand will fit comfortably.

“I built this thing in my garage for $200 and then a few months later I meet these people that have a need that can be filled by this technology. I don't think that's a coincidence and I just think it’s amazing that we live in a day and age where something like this is possible,” says Daniel Hawkins. He uses the maker space in the Joseph Newman Innovation Center for his projects in addition to his personal home studio.

After scanning Mason's arm, a 3-D model is generated by the computer which then gets sent to the printer. The printer will lay down plastic layer by layer until the full model is built.

“The one thing he won't be able to do is kind of individual finger movements, but in terms of throwing and catching a ball and picking things up, drinking a glass of water all that kind of stuff, he'll be able to do with his custom hand,” says Hawkins.

Today Mason also tests out a pre-printed hand, getting used to how it functions and excited for what he will be able to do.

“Throw a ball,” Mason says.

He will have a major life improvement all due to advances in technology. This option is much less expensive than getting a prosthetic and Hawkins is providing the service for free. He says that re-printing a bigger hand will be simple as Mason grows.

Mason will have his custom fit hand in a month and it will take about 14 hours to print.

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