A 9-year-old boy in San Diego made a 3D-printed prosthetic hand for a Canadian man born without one.
Calramon Mabalot, who learned how to 3D print online, was interested in learning how to make a prosthetic hand, so he joined the innovation lab — which included a 3D printer — at his local library.
The librarian, Uyen Tran, scheduled a meetup to show a group how to make prosthetic hand, just as a project, and the rest was fate.
After the group had already gathered for two sessions, Nick, a man who was born without a hand, was visiting the library from Canada and Tran thought it’d be amazing to make a hand for him.
“I noticed that Nick started showing up to the innovation lab. He didn’t have a hand so I asked if he was interested in having one made for him and he was like, 'Sure, I’ll be a Guinea pig,'" Tran said.
Tran chose Calmaron for the job, but the boy is no novice in the 3D printing world. He owns an online business, Brother Robot, and has printed more than 50 orders for customers. He works in his homemade printing lab at home – usually after school. He chose, however, to make Nick’s prosthetic hand for free.
The prototyping process for the hand was done at the library, but after finding a better design to build upon, Calramon assembled it at home and the finished product was then delivered to Nick.
"It was great. He was super happy. He was really impressed that you could do that," said Calramon. "I feel good because I learned and I also helped somebody."