College Students Create 'Frozen'-Themed 3D Printed Prosthetic for Girl Born Without Hand
Now, 9-year-old Karissa Mitchell can look forward to the next time someone asks, "Do you want to build a snowman?"
A 9-year-old who was born without her right hand and most of the wrist now has a brand new prosthetic thanks to the help of a 3D printer and the dedication of several college students.
"It's awesome," she said, as she practiced opening and closing her new fingers around a stuffed Olaf, according to Siena College's press release. "It feels like I have a real hand."
The arm is ice blue, and even comes with a removable light.
According to a statement by Siena College, it took the 3D printer 30 hours to create the arm, and it took students another two hours to assemble the parts.
But the real work was in the hands of the eight member e-NABLE team, which spent 6 months researching and testing the arm.
According to, Alyx Gleason, a physics major and junior at the college, Karissa's family approached the team after their first successful project in creating a 3D printed prosthetic with an Iron Man theme nearly a year ago.
“When we met Karissa and her family, they were so nice and it was a great fit,” Gleason said. “Karissa’s face lit up when we showed her a test hand. She is a very deserving girl.”
They used preexisting technology shared with Enabling the Future teams across the U.S. that opens and closes the hand using the movement of the elbow. If the wearer straightens the elbow, the fingers open. When the elbow is bent, the fingers close together.
But, Karissa's favorite part about the arm is the Frozen theme.
"Karissa really identifies with Elsa because she knows what it's like to be different from everyone else," her mom Maria Mitchell said in a statement.
"I like how Elsa has magic powers, and she's different from everybody," Karissa said in a press conference. "It would be boring if everybody was like everybody."
Now, Karissa is looking forward to using her arm to help her do things she had trouble doing before: "If I get good at it, maybe even learn to write, pick up objects."
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