Disabled Boy Gets An 'Iron Man' Hand From A 3D Printer

12/09/2014 15:36 | Updated 20 May 2015

boy fitted with 3d printed 'iron man' prosthetic hand

A boy who was born without fingers on his right hand has been fitted with an 'Iron Man' prosthetic created by a 3D printer.

Rayden Kahae, three, was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome. The condition occurs when the unborn baby became entangled in the bands of amniotic fluid in the womb, impeding normal development.

In Rayden's case, he was born with stubs instead of fingers on his right hand, meaning he was unable to hold hands, make a fist or catch a ball.

Although Rayden, known to family and friends as Bubba, has always been happy and outgoing, his grandmother, Rulan Waikiki, recalls that he was starting to become aware of and upset by his disability.

"He noticed that his sister had two hands and he didn'tand he always said he didn't like that hand and he wanted one like his sister's," she told KHON2 News.

With fully working prosthetic hands often costing thousands of pounds, Waikiki did some investigating online to see if there were any other solutions.

Then she discovered non-profit group E-Nable. Founded in 2012 by a prop maker and a carpenter, E-Nable harnesses the potential of the relatively recent technology of 3D printing to improve the lives of people in need of prosthetics.

The 1500-strong E-Nable team, made up of volunteers across the world, were able to provide Rayden with a blueprint for a red and yellow mechanical prosthetic hand designed to look like that of superhero Tony Stark in the Iron Man films.

This design was then programmed into a 3D printer, which built the hand - fresh off the press and ready to use.

Total cost? Thanks to the wonders of 3D printing, only $50 (£30). And the family did not pay a penny, as all the work is covered by donations to E-Nable

Rayden had to wait a few months for his brand new Iron Man hand to arrive, but the wait was certainly worth it.

"As soon as he put it on and was able to close the hand, his face just lit up," Waikiki said.

Suggest a correction