NPR is featuring a wonderful story of a fortuitous meeting between two men from South Africa and United States that led to the development of a prosthetic for kids with congenital deformities. Richard Van As of Johannesburg lost his fingers to a table saw and was looking to build his own prosthetic hand. Crawling around the internet, he discovered Ivan Owen, a special effects artist from Bellingham, Washington, who posted a video of a mechanical puppet hand that he built. After they started to work together thousands of miles apart on making a cheap, easy to use prosthetic, the pair got help from MakerBot, a company that makes 3D printers. Using a donated printer, they were able to build a prosthetic hand for Liam, a boy who was born with a deformed hand.
The things that are happening with 3-D printers are amazing and neverending. I can’t wait to see what is coming next!