Delaware boy creates prosthetic hand with library 3D printer
The library can be a very resourceful place.
But 10-year-old Colin Consavage of Claymont, Delaware took his knowledge to a whole new level, going to a public library and using a 3D printer to create a human-like hand.
"I was already pretty interested in bionics," Colin told Action News Thursday.
Colin was born with his left hand in a fist and shortened fingers, what doctors call amniotic banding, that kept his hand stunted.
"He's had several surgeries to open his hand, but [his fingers] were always shorter, of course," Colin's mom Clare said.
One day, Colin saw his mom and brother Riley playing with a robotic hand at a science fair and an idea came to him.
"And I thought that would be cool like a glove to extend my fingers," Colin said.
His mom learned that the Wilmington Public Library had a 3D printer that he could use to make himself a mechanical hand for free.
"They're open to use of their 3D printer so we said 'we'll try it on our own,'" Clare said.
The prosthetic hand took about 12 hours to print; it came out in parts which then had to be meticulously put together by Colin and his mom, much to the amazement of Colin's dad.
"Clare and Colin sat down and it was amazing to watch them do it, piece by piece, it all started to just come together," Joe Consavage said.
The process of putting all the parts together took two days and when it was all done, as you could imagine, Colin couldn't wait to try it on and see what he could do with it.
"The first thing I picked up was a Pringles can and I threw it across the room. Triumph," Colin said.
"I think that it just gives him a sense of empowerment," Clare said.
The idea that a 10-year-old can walk into a public library with his mom and make himself a prosthetic hand was just astonishing to them.
"We live in a really fantastic age. It's the ultimate show and tell," Clare said.
"A lot of kids think it's really cool," Colin said. "I actually won an arm wrestling with it."