(WSVN) - Two Miami Beach brothers have come up with a unique effort for children in Haiti. 7’s Kevin Ozebek has it in today’s 7 Spotlight.
They may look like toys, but they’re so much more.
Student: “They’re very strong and reliable.”
These plastic pieces came together to make working prosthetic hands.
Student: “You bend it over, so this is one of the bigger ones. That would go on the top.”
The parts are created from raw plastic with 3-D printers.
And then, students from Miami Beach Senior High’s 3D Printing Club painstakingly assemble them.
The next step is to get them to children who need them in Haiti. One shipment is already on the way.
Jonathan Tamen: “We want to give a helping hand and inspire some hope in those children.”
Senior Jonathan Tamen and his twin brother David came up with the idea two years ago. They created a nonprofit called Helping Hands MB and then went to work making their dream a reality.
Jonathan Tamen: “The biggest obstacle with doing this project was getting a group of passionate people together.”
The prosthetic hands are designed to give disabled children working prosthetics to make everyday tasks easier.
Jonathan Tamen: “When they bend their elbow, you can see that the fingers close, and that’s how they’re able to pick something up.”
Jonathan’s twin brother David is the Helping Hands engineer. He was trained to print and assemble the prosthetic hands by e-NABLE, an online engineering charity that designs the parts.
David Tamen: “The prosthetic hand is split into a bunch of 3-D models, so there’s a model for the fingertips, there’s a model for the middle piece of the finger.”
Each model is downloaded and carefully printed one layer at a time. It takes roughly 18 hours to print the parts and about six hours to put together each prosthetic hand and forearm.
Jonathan Tamen: “The biggest challenge with actually assembling the devices is you have to be very precise. It is a medical instrument.”
The student group meets after school every other week to work on the project.
Sophia Frank, freshman member: “My favorite part about putting them together is just seeing how they work, because I would have never thought of this on my own. This has been great, to be helping other people in need.”
This is not the group’s first 3-D print project. Early in the pandemic, they produced plastic face shields for first responders, volunteers and teachers.
Gusie Sepkowitz, Printing Club sponsor: “As a teacher, there is no greater honor than seeing students become very passionate about something, but more importantly, passionate about something for the betterment of society.”
Even though Jonathan and David will be graduating this year, the 3D Printing Club is set to continue its work, bringing helping hands to those in need.
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