A Helping Hand in 3-D

“Prosthetic hands cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars just for the most simple one, and kids outgrow them in a year or so. Now that 3-D printing has become more mainstream, we can get a full prosthetic hand for about $20 of materials and 30 hours of time. It’s a small price to make a huge impact on kids’ lives.”

Jeff Powell ’15 has been building things for as long as he can remember. As a biomedical engineering major in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences, he applied that interest to help [then] 7-year-old Holden Mora of Chapel Hill, who was born without fully formed fingers on his left hand. Using a 3-D printer, Powell developed a prosthetic hand for Holden. Now he’s tying his shoes and swinging a baseball bat like most other boys his age.

Since graduation, Powell, a Carolina Covenant Scholar as a UNC undergraduate, has launched the Helping Hand Project, which revolves around the idea of using 3-D printing technology to help create affordable prosthetic hands which are donated to children with disabilities.

Read the complete Carolina Story

This is story number 19 in the Carolina Stories 225th Anniversary Edition magazine.

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