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UVU student uses passion for 3D printing to make prosthetic hands

Daniel Woodruff
Utah Valley University student Matt Thomas holding a 3D printed prosthetic hand

A student attending Utah Valley University has been using his passion for 3D printing to make prosthetic hands for children in need.

Matt Thomas, a mechanical engineering student, has been into 3D printing for about six years and discovered his passion to help others when coming up with an idea for an internship. After coming across an organization named Enabling The Future that 3D prints limbs for people in need, Thomas has been doing his own engineering to 3D print hands for children in third-world countries.

Showing the simplistic designs of his 3D printed hands, Thomas explained that his designs could be used for people to pick up objects and perform other activities such as riding a bike. After finalizing his designs, Thomas turned his project into an internship that he received credit for at UVU.

According to Thomas, the hands are inexpensive and it takes about 30 hours to print each one. All of the hands he makes have been customizable with different colors and symbols. Thomas says it’s a way to make a small difference for those in need of them.