Have tissues on hand: Dad uses 3D printer to build his son a prosthetic hand

November 6, 2013

I read this story on Huffington Post and I cried and was in awe at once. It’s a story of tech, of one brave boy, and a dad who literally gave his son a hand. There’s also a cool South African involved in this story.

Huffington Post reports that Leon McCarthy was born without fingers on his left hand, but with some help from his dad, he can now draw, pick up food and hold a water bottle using a homemade prosthetic.

CBS Evening News reports that instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars for a factory-made prosthetic hand, the 12-year-old’s father, Paul McCarthy, printed one

The Massachusetts dad had spent two years searching for affordable ways to give his son a prosthetic. Finally, he found inspiration on the Internet. He told Fox that he found a YouTube video detailing the work of Ivan Owen, who used a 3D printer to create a prosthetic hand for a 5-year-old in 2011. Following in Owen’s footsteps, McCarthy used a 3D printer purchased for his son’s school and began working on the hand with his son.

Earlier this summer, NPR reported that McCarthy used online directions from Owen to put the prosthetic hand together and — with a little trial and error — created a hand that Leon was able to try.:

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