Colin Pischke with prosthetic hand

Colin Pischke of Print Your Mind 3D - Photo credit Anis Heydari/CBC

 

We are looking to partner with local biomedical or mechanical engineers to develop a customized prosthetic for a local Alberta girl. This is our latest Enviromaker initiative. A portion of all sales at Print Your Mind 3D directly support projects like this. 

Jerlena Rittwage was born with an underdeveloped left hand. (CBC )

 

Jerlena was born with an underdeveloped left hand. Her family has sought out many options including visiting local prosthetic clinics around Calgary. The challenge is that she is a very particular case as she has a partial hand. Transradial amputees, those where the limb ends between the elbow and the wrist, have many options available. However, in the case of partial hands like Jerlena, the options are slim. This is why some high school students from Cochrane agreed to help Jerlana by 3D printing her an open source design using their school's 3D printer. We heard about her story in the CBC last year, and decided to contact the students and set up a meeting. 

 

Jerlena Rittwage says her 3D-printed plastic purple hand, while useful, has limitations. (CBC)

 

During our meeting we were able to learn about the great work the students had done making Jerlena an open source design. The problem is that the hand is not customized for her and has quite a few limitations. That is when we decided to try and build a team capable of developing something completely customized for her. We also decided to take a cast of her limb which we can now digitize to use as a negative while developing the design in CAD. 

Cast of Jerlena's hand

Casting taken from Jerlena which will be 3D scanned 

 

We have partnered with a local prosthetic clinic who can help from a medical perspective and ensure we are not doing any harm to Jerlena. We have also built a small team but capable team with access to many 3D printers. The key missing member is a designer, someone who can help us create these designs from scratch in the CAD software so we can print. Once we have this key new member development will begin on building this new custom design. If you or anyone you know has extensive CAD and engineering skills, please get in touch with us. We would love to hear from you!

 

Contact enviromakers@printyourmind3d.ca or call 587-226-2645.

 

Media articles:

https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1446148163759

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/prosthetic-hand-girl-calgary-colin-pischke-jerlena-rittwage-3d-printer-1.5026272

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