Middle school students assemble prosthetic hands from 3-D printer

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BOONVILLE - Laura Speed Elliot Middle School students are getting ready to send off their creation they've been working on for five weeks.

Ten students have been printing and assembling hand prosthetics using a 3-D printer.

Adam Arnette is an 8th grade science teacher who came up with the use for the 3-D printer when Boonville received it in January.

Arnette wanted to find a project where the printer could be used for something good. He proposed the hand prosthetic project to the principal and had a green light to round-up a team of students to join in on the project.

Around 70 to 80 students signed up, but Arnette had to narrow it down based on the students' academic standing, but he then had to pick names out of a hat due to the large number of qualified students.

For 22 minutes each day for five weeks, the students managed to make three prosthetic hands. Each one ranged from 18 to 28 hours in order to print, and that doesn't include assembling time.

"These guys are the ones that deserve all the credit for putting it all together because they basically put it together with little to no instructions," Arnette said, "All I did was press the print button."

Last Wednesday, the students had to put on a presentation in front of the school board to explain their project and why it was important.

Arnette and the students finished three hand prosthetics, and are getting ready to send them off to get matched to someone who needs it.

Arnette said, "Our ultimate goal is we want to get matched with a donor, or a person who needs a hand, and we'll get their measurements and create a hand that suits them."