UF club 3D prints prosthetics for teens

December 11, 2015
Alisson Clark
photographer: Thomas Moseley

A BuzzFeed article about 3D printing changed Jessica Bergau’s life. Now she’s changing the lives of teens born with upper-limb differences.

After reading the article, the junior zoology major at the University of Florida created a student organization – Generational Relief in Prosthetics – that 3D-prints hands and other assistive devices with the support of the UF Libraries.

Bergau teaches UF students from all over campus – including medicine, engineering, education and art majors – to print the devices using open-source designs that they customize for each recipient. The club involves the teen recipients in the process, from choosing the colors to assembling the devices. At the club's first weekend camp, teens from around the Southeast gathered to try out their devices, getting a lesson in 3D printing, as well.

“Many of these teens have gone their whole lives without prosthetics,” Bergau said. “Even if it isn’t something they are using every minute of every day, it still makes an impact.”

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