Six-Year-Old Superhero Gets A Helping Hand
Sebastian was pumped to receive his new prosthetic hand, designed and 3D-printed by University of Ottawa students. It not only allowed him to ride a bike for the first time, but its Iron Man look made him feel like his favourite hero.
Born with a number of medical challenges, the Ottawa boy cannot pick things up or grip the handlebars of a bicycle with his partially formed left hand. A conventional prosthetic, which costs at least $20,000, would have to be replaced annually as he grew.
Sebastian’s parents approached uOttawa, which set students a 3D-printing challenge: Using the University’s Richard L’Abbé Makerspace facility, create a prosthetic hand that could be modified and reprinted at low cost, as needed.
More than 70 teams took part in the competition, with Sebastian choosing the winning design. Students Shannon Lee, Robert Rayson and Ruben Fernandez all received a cash prize for their life-changing work.
“It’s very emotional for me to see that I can make such a huge, positive impact on someone’s life,” Shannon said. She has recently created a new hand for Sebastian in the red-and-blue colours of his latest hero, Spider-Man. The cost: just $200.
This is just one of many ways that students are using uOttawa’s state-of-the-art facilities to make a difference.
Visit uottawa.ca/tabaret/en/content/3d-printers-wheels to learn more.