UT student helps design, build own prosthetic hand with help from club

Local News

The University of Tennessee’s Makers Club is creating prosthetics through 3D printing. The club’s first client is Riley Toll.

Toll isn’t just the first receiver of one of these prosthetics but she’s also an engineering student and club member who helped make it. 

“I’m a below the elbow congenital amputee,” said Toll. “That basically means that I was born without my hands. I have most of my forearm but I just don’t have my palm and fingers basically.” 

With the help of her fellow Makers Club members, the UT freshman will be going home this Christmas with a prosthetic hand. 

“When we brought it to our club, we found that one of the students that came to one of our interests meetings actually had an arm that she wanted printed, so that led to what you see here,” said Maker’s Club Vice President Alex Weber. 

Club members, including Toll, spent weeks designing, altering, and putting together the prosthetic. The club created the hand using 3D printers in the Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering Department.

“We have to work with them to get proper measurements, to get them fitted, to figure out what works and what type of device we need to build,” said Maker’s Club President Chase Cumbelich. 

Toll was presented with the hand Wednesday night. 

“We 3D printed all of the different parts and we have strings running through it, so, when I put it on, you bend the elbow and the fingers will close.”  

Riley and the group are already thinking of ways to improve her new prosthetic but they are excited about what they have already created.

“My family thinks it’s really cool,” said Toll. “They are really proud of me that I’m able to apply what I’ve been learning in school to actual real world things that’s a career I want to pursue.”

To learn more about the Maker’s Club and its projects visit the club’s website
 

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