IHA’s own Applied Engineering Club has recently 3D printed and assembled a prosthetic hand for a child in need through the organization Enable the Future. The eNable community is comprised of a group of volunteers that use 3D printing technologies to aid those in need of upper limb assistive devices. Their mission is for everyone to put aside their differences and “give the world a helping hand.”
Mrs. Nudelman, the Applied Engineering club moderator, mentioned, “I’ve been hoping my Applied Engineering club students would get involved with this organization this year since we didn’t have time last year to work on this project.” She noted that it is a great organization and she and the students will certainly consider working with them again.
Applied Engineering co-President Emily Koehne’18 was honored to have worked with the eNable community. In reference to the entire process, she thought “the experience of making a hand for someone in need of one, all while using STEM to make it, is so incredible. I can’t describe the feeling you get when you know that what your doing has a global impact. I feel so proud to be a part of this project.”
Using the three MakerBot 3D printers available at IHA, students printed the ‘Unlimbited Phoenix’ hand. It was designed for people with sufficient wrist function to drive the movement of the device, but there are other designs to help those that only have elbow function. The design is available for viewing on the 3D modeling program Thingiverse, which allows users to share their designs electronically to be uploaded to their MakerBots. After weeks of printing and constructing the product, the Applied Engineering students sent in a video detailing the functionality of the device. IHA’s Unlimbited Phoenix was approved by eNable on Wednesday, November 22 .
Applied Engineering has worked on community service-based projects before, combining IHA’s mission to help the surrounding community while using the knowledge and skillset that is built in the classroom. Kaitlyn Bertolino’18, Applied Engineering co-President, says that the club was “so excited that our hand got approved! It is really exciting that our club has the chance to reach out beyond the IHA community to help those in need.” According to Mrs. Nudelman, this project is especially meaningful because, “the 3D printed prosthetic hand will enable a person to use their new hand to grip objects, often for the very first time.”
The girls will continue to offer a helping hand through the use of 3D printing technologies, as the
Applied Engineering club has always strived to do. It is gratifying to know that a child in need
will be able to proudly wear their Unlimbited Phoenix in IHA’s colors.
By: Rebecca Nadler ’19, Staff Writer