Students from the University of Huddersfield have 3D printed a child-size prosthetic hand – and are hoping to work with a charity to provide them for free.
The university’s 3D printing society built the hand for less than £10 using their table top 3D printer – but don’t have anyone to give them to.
The students are now looking for a charity for children with disabilities who can give them out for free.
Menchanical engineering student Younes Chahid, who set up the society, said the design for the hand was made available free over the internet by an organisation called Enable, for anyone to print.
He said: “Children get really excited by prosthetic hands and they feel like superheroes when they go to school.
“It takes two hours to put together the first time but you can get it down to 30 minutes.
“Children who don’t have fingers but can move their wrist put the hand on and when they move their wrist, the fingers close and it can pick up objects.”
Check out some of the society’s 3D printed creations
Younes, an international student from Morocco, said 3D printing was invented in the late 1980s but its patent of fused deposition modelling – there are many other types of 3d printing – finished in 2009.
Since then the technology has improved so that desktop printers can be bought for £175, he said.
3D printing is usually done with plastic, but ceramics and even chocolate can also be used.
Designs can be downloaded from the internet, but the society is aiming for students to make their own designs and have them printed.
WATCH: How 3D printing works
And the society even takes commissions from outside the university from businesses and individuals.
Members are studying everything from engineering to animation, and have printed a toy elephant with moveable parts, keyrings to sell in the student union shop, a human brain for a mental health project, a micro SD card holder, a scale model of the Eiffel Tower – and even a model of Emley Moor Mast!
Younes said he set up the society in September 2016 after realising the university had 3D printers – but now the society has its own equipment thanks to sponsorship from the university students’s union and London based 3D printing company iMakr.
He said: “There was a need for the students to see it and see the possibilities of 3D printing.
“When you first design something and you see it 3D printed you get addicted to it!”