This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- AxisLab 3D printing in Grand Rapids is changing lives one spool of plastic at a time.
Aaron Brown, the owner of AxisLab, is a volunteer for e-NABLE, a group of 3D printers from all over the world who create free 3D printed hands and arms for people in need.
“Sophia is my 54th hand that I’ve printed and she’s actually my very first local recipient. I’ve sent hands to Texas, Hawaii and all over the East Coast," says Brown.
Sophia, a third grader at Georgetown Elementary in Hudsonville, was born in China without a hand. Her parents, Karen and Curt Howard, adopted her at the age of three and says nothing slows her down. Karen explains, “We had tried to steer her towards soccer and she kept asking us to play softball."
Sophia is going on her third year of softball, but this will be her first year with two hands. Her new green and white Michigan State themed hand was given to her, completely free of charge.
Aaron says the had took about ten to fifteen hours to print and the parts are cheap. In total, Sophia's hand cost him about forty dollars in plastic, fishing line and dental rubber bands.
Sophia and her new hand
Thanks to Aaron, she's now the talk of the playground. “The boys want to take it and bring it home," explains Sophia.
Best part of all, her new hand was finished just in time for the spring softball season.