Pennsylvania girl with congenital condition gets 3-D printed fingers

- A Pennsylvania girl who was born without any fingers on one hand is finally able to experience what it’a like to have two functioning hands after being fitted with a 3-D printed prosthesis. Emmy Hoffman, 5, was born with Symbrachydactyly, a congenital condition that can cause limb abnormalities, and received her new prosthetic Friday. The fingers attach to a shell that fits over her hand and wrist.

“The hand is very simple,” Eric Shoemaker, Emmy’s prosthetist at Ability Prosthetics, said in a news release. “When Emmy flexes her wrist, the cables tighten and flex the fingers so the hand closes, and she will be able to grasp objects.”

Advancements in 3-D printing technologies have enabled companies like Exton, Penn.-based Ability Prosthetics to help children like Emmy excel. The company fitted her with the first prosthesis and will continue to supply new fingers as she grows. Without 3-D printing, each new set of fingers would cost $10,000 to $20,000, but the Hoffmans will only be responsible for an annual cost of a few hundred dollars.


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