3D printed body parts changing the lives of those who need it most

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) –

The next generation of printers are reproducing human body parts, and now, an international program is connecting 3D printers up with those who need a helping hand.

A 3D printer for Jose Delgado will punch out at 16 hours because it’s following a blue print for a human hand. That’s a hand Delgado depends on.

“This helps me pick up the boxes when I load trucks or unload trucks, or pick something up and put it on the table or whatever,” he said.

By trade, Delgado is a fork lift driver and box handler, which are jobs that would be very difficult without the use of his cyborg Beast. And yes, that’s what it’s called.

“He said it’s called the Beast and I said yeah, that’s a good name for it because it’s kind of like a

Beast robot type thing,” he said.

Jeremy Simon is the man behind the hand.

“I became fascinated with 3D printing technology just because I sensed a great potential in it,” Simon said.

He owns a 3D printing business and is also a volunteer with the international organization e-NABLE.

“I went on the internet looking for a new prosthetic hand and I ran across e-NABLE,” Delgado said.

Simon added, “e-NABLE has something that we call the matching team, which will then work to match each recipient with a volunteer that can make a hand for them and get it properly sized.”

Delgado spent $42,000 for his last prosthetic device.

“I guess it was technology back in the day,” he said.

The Beast — made almost entirely out of plant-based, biodegradable plastic — costs just $50 to make. However, Delgado got an even better deal.

“He said it’s free for people around the area because he wants to help people out so I said, I like that even better,” Delgado said.

Simon added, “We hope to be an example of how companies and individuals can use this technology to make a real impact

E-NABLE’s master plan is for each family that uses one of their prosthetic devices to own their own 3D printer. So, if a part breaks, they can just print a replacement on the spot.

For more information, visit e-NABLE’s website

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