We all know knowledge is power, and libraries have long been a place where people have found the pathways to change their lives through expanding their minds. Today, libraries are also places where people can change their physical bodies as well. In Wilmington, Delaware, a 10 year old boy named Colin Consavage did just that thanks to 3D printers funded by the Delaware Division of Libraries. Consavage was born with his left hand in a fist. This is know as amniotic banding. He has had several surgeries to open his hand, but his fingers are shortened. After seeing a robotic hand in action, he decided to see if he could build his own for his left hand.
Consavage found the website e-NABLE, which is a volunteer run organization that helps children and adults who need prosthetic hands by providing 3D printing designs and helps personalize them for each users needs. He was then able to take his design to the Wilmington Public Library and, with the help of the librarian, print off his new hand. Traditional prosthetics are very expensive and outside the reach of many who need them, especially children who grow out of them so quickly. 3D printing and communities like e-NABLE have made it possible for prosthetics to be affordable and personalized to each users needs.
For more information about this young man and his journey, check out the following news stories:
Feature image by Danny Choo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dannychoo/12028775446/sizes/c/