Professor Triplett showing Cooper the artificial hand.
Cooper holds a water bottle with his new 3D printed hand.
HUNTINGTON, WV -
Six-year-old Cooper is getting a new lease on life. MountWest Community and Technical College students, led by Professor Ted Triplett, developed a functioning hand for the little boy by using a 3D printer.
Cooper was born without a left hand.The work began in the fall semester and took about a week to print.
Cooper is able to open and close the fingers on the hand by using movements in his wrist.
"This technology is going to take over," said Triplett. "We have to realize with this technology there will be a lot of good that will happen."
The project had it's challenges because the original print was designed for a teenage sized child, not one as small as Cooper.
"The hardest part with the hand was just everything was so small and so tedious," said Christopher Hunt, one of the students who helped develop the artificial hand.
Cooper's family was filled with joy as they saw the boy trying to grasp different things like a water bottle or his jacket with his "cool" new hand.
"If you can't see it in my eyes, I'm overwhelmed," said Cooper's grandfather Randy, with tears filling his eyes.
Cooper is still getting used to the new extension, but he will be doing everyday things most people take for granted, in no time.
In the spring, the students will continue to improve the artificial hand, this time using electronics.
904 West Pike Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Main (304) 623-3311
Fax (304) 624-6152(Clarksburg)
Fax (304) 225-2522(Morgantown)