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UNC student creates prosthetic hand for youngster

Posted November 10, 2014
Updated November 11, 2014

— A 7-year-old from Chapel Hill now has a prosthetic hand that cost just $20 to make on a 3-D printer.

"It makes it looks like I have two hands, just one is redder than the other – a lot more redder," Holden Mora said recently as he showed off a robotic-looking device that gives his left hand the grip it never had.

"It was born differently than my right hand," he said of his left hand. "The fingers are a little shorter and smaller."

The plastic fingers were made possible by Jeff Powell, a senior biomedical engineering major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who used an online design and a 3-D printer to create a prosthetic hand in about 20 hours.

"It was nice to see the work pay off," Powell said. "Holden seems very excited about it, and I hope I can help him out by doing this."

"Well, he did a nice job," Holden said.

A class of students at the City of Medicine Academy in Durham also recently used a 3-D printer to create prosthetic hands for three children.

Powell, who wants to design devices as a career, said he and other students hope to print more prosthetics for children like Holden. Anyone know knows a child in need of a device can email Powell at jeffp@live.unc.edu, and people can donate to the effort through the Helping Hand Project.

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  • Grand Union Nov 11, 2014

    Doesn't it strike anyone that its wrong that a 7 year old has to have a smart student make him a prosthetic hand? We spend billions on Weapons but don't even have the money and time to take care of this sort of thing for our kids?