Keystone College joins national 3-D project to make artificial hands
At Keystone College, service to the community is more than something that we say; it’s something that is done on campus and in the local community every day.
That’s why Keystone students spend over 26,000 hours each year helping in senior centers, cleaning up parks, and helping children in need, among many other activities. So, when the College had the chance to use its new Additive Manufacturing/ 3-D Printing Center to help others, there was no hesitation.
Located in Brooks Hall, Keystone’s Regional Center for Excellence in 3-D Design was created in 2014 with financial assistance from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. While the Center has been a marvelous help in educating students and preparing them for careers in 3-D printing, the goal has always been to benefit local residents and businesses as well.
Now, Keystone is proud to partner with the non-profit organization Enabling the Future Global 3-D Printing Network and its “Give a Helping Hand” program to produce upper limb assistive devices for use by members of the Northeastern Pennsylvania community. Once completed, the devices will function just like artificial hands and will be designed and made entirely through the 3-D printing process.
“This is really a wonderful project. We are able to use our expertise in 3-D printing in a way that will help other people in need. That’s was always one of our primary goals when we began the 3-D Center several years ago.”
Jim Harmon, Director
After a rigorous introductory process which involved submitting a video of the 3-D process, Jim said Keystone recently received approval to be a certified chapter of the Enabling the Future Network. Now, Jim and a committed group of Keystone students are working hard to complete their design and begin production in the coming months.
“We’re still involved in the process but it’s been a tremendous learning experience for our students,” Jim said. “We’ve had art students and science students working side by side and it’s been beneficial to each group.”
“This has been a truly amazing experience for all of us,” said Keystone student Jacqueline Chavez. “We’ve really learned a great deal really and the best part is that we will be helping people in need as well.”