The Helping Hand Project is a nonprofit organization centered in Chapel Hill that provides 3D-printed recreational prosthetic hands for children in need.
Their story began with Holden Mora, a 7-year-old boy with symbrachydactyly, a condition in which the hand stops growing early in development. Mora was the first child to receive a hand, providing inspiration to grow the organization.
At UNC, the Helping Hand Project club spends hours building prosthetics for children with the resources available in the biomedical engineering labs. They plan to finish their first hand of the semester by the end of the month.
“We can either print (the children) out a standard hand, which means that there is little wrist movement. That takes two weeks to print and assemble,” said Grace Cronin, the president of UNC’s chapter. “If it is a custom case, then that can take anywhere from two weeks to two months.”
The Helping Hand Project Club offers a unique aspect that allows students to interact with those benefiting from the design and production of the prosthetic hands.