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3-D Printed Prosthetics: Crowdsourcing a Solution for Disabled Kids

Johns Hopkins Medicine hosts event for 3-D printing enthusiasts who provide kids with affordable and durable prosthetic hands.

Mike Waldron's 3-D printed prosthetic hand

Most kids take swinging a bat or slipping on a glove for granted. For children missing a hand or fingers due to congenital disabilities, that simple act can feel like reaching for the stars. Prosthetic limbs are expensive and quickly outgrown, leaving many families without options. But recently, a group of volunteers and professionals joined forces to put more durable, less constrictive and much less expensive prosthetic hands within the grasp of thousands of children — all for free.

On Sept. 28, 2014, Johns Hopkins Medicine hosted a symposium titled Prosthetists Meet Printers: Mainstreaming Open Source 3-D Printed Prosthetics for Underserved Populations. The event included workshops on strategy, techniques and policy regarding 3-D prosthetics. Johns Hopkins trauma surgeon Albert Chi, the e-NABLE organization, the Kennedy Krieger Institute and other leaders in medicine and industry donated 3-D printed prosthetics to children with upper limb differences.

The event brought 21st century practices and technologies to almost 500 prosthetists, printer owners, parents, kids and wounded warriors. It provided a forum for 3-D printer owners who donate free prosthetic limbs, allowing them to share specs and meet with the professionals and families who can benefit from their work.

As seen in the 2016 Biennial Report. Learn more.

Read about our 3-D prosthetic hand recipients

Griffin gets a "super" new hand

Mike's 3-D printed hand paves the way for next-generation prosthetics

Letters from fifth graders convince Albert Chi to build their teacher a prosthetic hand

Johns Hopkins Doctor Helps Child Get 3-D Printed Prosthetics

Five-year old Griffin receives a new glow-in-the-dark, 3-D printed prosthetic hand from Dr. Albert Chi.

3D Printing a Hand

Johns Hopkins researcher Albert Chi uses a 3D printer to make prosthetic hands for kids in need.

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