3D Printing Pediatric Prosthetics: Changes For A Little Girl, And Much More

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Jessica Berkholtz carefully attaches her daughter Kate's plastic hand.
Jessica Berkholtz carefully attaches her daughter Kate's plastic hand.

90.3 WBHM Birmingham, Ala. – In Huntsville there’s a little girl who was born without fingers on one hand, but she now has an affordable prosthetic. Three-dimensional printing made it possible. That technology is spreading, which means her story is just one example of life-altering changes on the horizon. Dan Carsen has the national story, with previously unpublished photos below.

Two-year-old Kate Berkholtz warming up for gymnastics class at The Little Gym in Huntsville.
Different stages of both the development and the assembly of Kate’s prosthesis, at Huntsville’s Zero Point Frontiers Corp., where the project started.
The 3-D printer that made Kate’s prosthetics.
Looking down into where objects come into being. An extruder squirts liquid plastic according to precise coordinates. The plastic hardens, and boom — there’s a hand, or just about anything else.
Zero Point intern Shawn Betts — who’s done much of the work on the project — models a prosthetic.
Working toward the perfect fit.
Not 100% sold?
Sold. Kate ran off and played, happily.

Dan Carsen

Education Reporter