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Prosthetic hands created with 3D-printer

Rachael Wood is using a 3D-printer to create prosthetic hands for children in need.

The Christchurch woman has joined web-based volunteer community e-NABLE, which has delivered more than 1500 prosthetic hands across the globe.

They have helped children in 37 countries, including crash victims or the disabled.

e-NABLE supports volunteers who want to try 3D-printing and then matches them with children in need.

Wood will likely be paired with a child from New Zealand or Australia.

She has just completed her first test-hand called “The Raptor Reloaded” with the help of Fab Lab, a process which she said took time but was “fascinating”.

Fab Lab community coordinator Sandra Ledderhos said the initial print took 10 to 12 hours and cost $120.

“We realised that it was going to be pretty expensive so we agreed that the time Rachael spent volunteering we would spend on the printing, like an exchange of goods.”

e-NABLE will match Wood with a child so she can print a prosthetic to the right measurements.

Wood got involved with the project after watching a girl receive an e-NABLE prosthetic on television.

“I googled e-NABLE and signed up straight away.”

Wood planned to print more hands for specific children, right down to the colour choice.

“I could just print off any old hands and send them overseas but it would be nice to give them to children who really need them.”

By Georgina Campbell for The Press