A 6-year-old boy born without a left hand now has one, thanks to his older brother and a high school teacher who used a 3-D printer to create the prosthetic limb.
Lucas Filippini’s 16-year-old brother Gabriel Filippini approached technology teacher Kurt O’Connor at Park View High School in Sterling, VA with the idea of using the classroom 3-D printer to build the hand for Lucas, media outlets reported.
The child was able to do nearly everything other children could, including zipping up his jacket, riding a bike and even gripping monkey bars using his palm.
“I wanted to see what he could do with two hands,” Gabriel Filippini said.
O’Connor agreed to give it a try and the two began their pursuit, receiving assistance along the way.
An organization called Enabling the Future gave them free designs for the hand, and another group, Maker Smith, helped them perfect the knuckle joints.
Lucas received his new hand on his birthday earlier this month. It attaches to his arm with Velcro. By bending his wrist, he can manipulate the fingers to pick things up.
Over time, he will develop the muscles needed to do other things with the hand, such as moving glasses of milk or stacks of paper, and even tying his shoelaces.
Lucas said he’s grateful he can now do things with both hands.
“It makes me think my brother loves me a lot,” he said.