"Techno" Pope blesses 3D printer that makes prosthetics

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Student-designed 3D printers bound for Congo and Uganda to make prosthetic hands from waste plastic (WPVI)

There's no doubt Pope Francis has embraced technology to work for human good.

He's on Twitter and Instagram, and today he embraced another 21st century creation.

During his regular appearance, Francis met students from an Italian technical school.

A team made up of fifteen students from Massimiliano Massimo Institute, located in Rome, made a 3-D printer which makes prosthetic hands from plastic waste, such as bottle caps and containers.

They had help from twenty volunteers and sixty-nine additional students from "Making 3D printers" class.

Through a crowd-funding initiative called Crowd4Africa, they are sending 2 of their printers, along with a 3D print "mini factory," are going to Uganda and Congo to make new hands for people maimed in civil wars, accidents, and by disease.

The printers can also be used to make spare parts, such as those for toilets.

The Pope blessed the printers - and posed for a picture with the students.

The printers could answer two global problems.

The United Nations says 20-million people need prosthetics, but only 2-percent get them.

And it could also be a good way to recycle plastic.

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