Grade 8 | Customizing 3D printed prosthetic hands for kids in need

Raptor ReloadedThe class of 2016 is a pretty amazing group of kids, so we figured, why not have them tackle a pretty amazing capstone? One that not only changes the world but that also embodies our program manifesto while affording them an opportunity to incorporate multiple state-of-the-art Digital Shop technologies however they see fit. One that is easily our biggest and most ambitious capstone, too.

You may have heard about the 3D printed prosthetic hands, pioneered and created by Ivan Owen and another man named Richard Van As, which ultimately inspired Jon Schull to create a non-profit, Enable Community Foundation to promote the production and distribution of these devices worldwide.  You can check out the full story here (, but I think this video, in 1 minute 50 seconds, will tell anyone unfamiliar with the devices all they need to know:

So, yeah. 3D printed prosthetic hands. Why not? But here’s the thing. We have 100+ students in 8th grade, divided into six weekly Digital Shop cohorts, each having between 4 and 5 teams. If my math is right, that means we need between 24 to 30 people for whom to make these devices.

Raptor Reloaded (Under Construction)That’s 24 to 30 different people to find, communicate with, obtain measurements from (thank goodness for this handy video explaining the process), customize for, 3D print, assemble, develop packaging & related items, and ship.

All by the end of school in June.

So, we’re starting now, preparing for our first cohort in late March.

And, we need your help.

Do you know someone who could benefit from a 3D printed prosthetic hand? Have them fill out this form, ASAP:

The form is long but it’s super important. When it asks if the recipient is working with anyone, please have them enter NORTHFIELD COMMUNITY MIDDLE SCHOOL. That way the wonderful folks at e-NABLE will be able to connect them to us.

Do you know an individual or organization that can help us find potential recipients, ideally, in our community, state or region? Have them email me:

We will start the first 8th grade cohort on or about March 21st. We need five recipients for that group. Those recipients will get their hands roughly six weeks later, allowing us TWO full class “rotations” (five days & 40 minutes each) to customize and build. We will need another four to five recipients every week for five more rotations after that.

This is really ambitious, we know. We can do it though. WITH YOUR HELP!

Please spread the word, share the link to this page, call people you know, alert the media, whatever it takes – THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!

Kevin Jarrett
Technology, Engineering & Design Teacher
Northfield Community Middle School
Northfield, NJ, USA