Eagle Scout using 3D printing to make prosthetic hands for kids

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Sunday, August 6, 2017
VIDEO: VIDEO: Eagle Scout prosthetic hand project
Watch the report from Action News at 11 p.m. on Aug. 5, 2017.

HOCKESSIN, Del. (WPVI) -- A 16 year old Eagle Scout from New Castle County, Delaware is using 3D printing technology to help kids who need prosthetic hands.

It started out as a service project for the Scouts, but it has turned into a labor of love.

Austin Lin says he got the idea after meeting a teenager who was missing a hand.

He did some research and learned that prosthetic hands can cost thousands of dollars and are not always covered by medical insurance.

"And if they do. They will only cover one hand in a person's lifetime. So, this is a problem because kids continue to grow and they will outgrow these hands very quickly," said Lin.

He enlisted the help of people with access to 3D printers to make the parts for the prosthetic hands.

Now, Lin and volunteers from his Scout troop and across his community put them together.

The non-profit group Hand Challenge distributes them to kids around the world.

Lin says prosthetic hands make a big difference for kids who need them.

"Doing everyday actions, like picking up things or opening a door, is hard for them. And one of the big things that really touched me is that they were getting bullied," Lin said.

Lin also says he's been told that bullying drops dramatically for these kids after they start using their 3D printed hands.

"After they got these hands the other kids would talk to them. They weren't bullying them anymore because it was like something out of like 'Iron Man' and they thought it was a really cool," said Linn.

He adds that the best part is that his printed hands only cost about $50 to make.


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