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Texas PLTW Students Design and Build Prosthetic Hand

Jayme Sims of Spring lost the fingers of his right hand to a wood chipper in January.

About the same time, three Mansfield school district students studying advanced engineering started learning about three-dimensional printers and how to use the industrial robot-like devices to create prosthetic body parts.

They all came together for the first time at Ben Barber Career Tech Academy last week, where two of the students presented Sims with the class project — a blue plastic hand they created using measurements and photos Sims had posted to a website that focuses on 3-D-printed, low-cost prosthetics.

With media cameras rolling and snapping, Sims strapped on the mechanical device and flexed his new fingers into a simple grip.

He was ecstatic, and the engineering students — Nke Ebolum and Jeremiah Joseph — were relieved.