News / Calgary

Alberta students build prosthetics for people in developing countries

Project gives students high school credit and a chance to help people through modern technology

Colin Pischke kicked off the project to show how modern technology can be used be used for more than creating trinkets and novelty items

Aaron Chatha / Metro

Colin Pischke kicked off the project to show how modern technology can be used be used for more than creating trinkets and novelty items

Students in Calgary and Edmonton are starting the new year by offering a helping hand – specifically, a 3D printed prosthetic hand, delivered to people in need across the world.

Colin Pischke, owner of Print Your Mind 3D, is spearheading a project allowing high school students to get credit for learning to print and assemble fully-working prosthetic hands, for people who are either missing the appendage or don’t have full function of their fingers.

“If someone has $5,000 and can buy a bionic prosthetic – this isn’t who this hand is going to,” said Pischke. “This is going to someone who would never otherwise be able to afford a prosthetic hand. Now, for the first time, they’re picking up a baseball bat. They can pick up a pencil to write. They’re swimming and doing all these things they could never otherwise have done.”

Pischke partnered up with a local program called Innovate, which will allow students to get high school credit for the project, and with a U.S. company called e-NABLE, which provided the designs for the hands and will deliver them to people in developing countries who are in need of them.

“This project is a great way to show students how to use modern technology to influence lives around the world,” Pischke explained.

Now that the project is underway, Pischke’s next step is to raise money to organize a build event, where students will come together in Calgary to print and build 25 – 30 hands.

The event is on GoFundMe under Calgary, 3D Printing Prosthetic Hands.