Teen uses 3-D printer to make hand for boy - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Teen uses 3-D printer to make hand for boy

Posted: Updated:
A birth defect left Matthew Shields' hand underdeveloped.  He was born with only a thumb on his right hand, but now a 3-D printer at the library is now making those things possible. A birth defect left Matthew Shields' hand underdeveloped. He was born with only a thumb on his right hand, but now a 3-D printer at the library is now making those things possible.
  • More newsMore>>

  • Official: 3 bodies retrieved from inside ferry

    Official: 3 bodies retrieved from inside ferry

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:52:12 GMT
    The captain of the ferry that sank off South Korea, leaving more than 300 missing or dead, was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. Two crew members also were taken into...More >>
    A coast guard official says divers retrieved three bodies from inside a ferry that sunk off South Korea, raising the confirmed death toll to 36 with more than 265 people still missing, most of them high school students on...More >>
  • Montgomery native wins Ancil Payne journalism award

    Montgomery native wins Ancil Payne journalism award

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:50:55 GMT
    A Montgomery native and former student at St. James High School has won the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism. Mazie Bryant, who is the editor-in-chief of the University of Alabama's CrimsonMore >>
    A Montgomery native and former student at St. James High School has won the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism.More >>
  • Creeping landslide devouring part of Wyoming town

    Creeping landslide devouring part of Wyoming town

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:43 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:43:28 GMT
    A sudden lurch in a creeping landslide in the northwest Wyoming resort town of Jackson split a house in two and forced workers to abandon efforts to stabilize the hillside.More >>
    No one can say when the mountainside collapsing into this Wyoming resort town will give way. But it appears increasingly likely that when it does, it's going to take a piece of Jackson with it.More >>
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

The Johnson County Library is giving hope to a young boy who can't throw a ball, give a high five or turn the pages of a book with his right hand.

Prosthetics usually cost thousands of dollars, all it took in this case was a library card.

A birth defect left Matthew Shields' hand underdeveloped. He was born with only a thumb on his right hand, but a 3-D printer at the library is now giving Matthew a second chance.

The printer built the 9-year-old a new hand.

It was never an issue until this year when Matthew's mom noticed children at his school picking on him.

"He started coming home with his hand in his shirt," Matthew's mother, Jennifer Shields, said.

Social stigma was taking a toll, so Matthew's mom discovered "Robohand," a mechanical hand made with a 3-D printer.

A family friend stepped in to make one.

"When it is all done, to be able to say you gave a kid a hand, gave a kid the ability to grasp something and let him high five or hand shake, it is a pretty amazing feeling," Mason Wilde said.

Wilde, a 16-year-old Louisburg High School junior, loaded blueprints from "Robohand" onto computers at Johnson County Public Library and used their 3-D printer.

Layer by layer, the hand took shape.

It took about eight hours to build a hand with the 3-D printer and created a lifetime of change for Matthew.

"I actually have fingers. I didn't know what that felt like until now," Matthew said.

When his wrist curls, so do the fingers. He can use his right hand like never before.

"It has been a huge blessing. It has changed the conversation from, 'what happened to your hand?' to, 'oh my gosh! That is so cool.' That is huge when you are 9 and when you're a little bit different," Matthew's mom said.

Matthew is still getting used to his new hand, but with it, he feels more confident than ever.

This has inspired Mason to start a nonprofit to make prosthetics from 3-D printers for other children. He is also looking into a career in the biomedical field in prosthetics.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow