Rocky Hill School’s Interact Club and the New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) Rotaract Club joined forces on Thursday, January 12th at NEIT’s East Greenwich campus to assemble fifteen 3D printed prosthetic hands that will ultimately be used by children in need. Five prosthetic hands will be shipped unassembled to an Interact Club in Rwanda where they will be assembled and distributed within their community.
Rocky Hill School’s Interact Community Service Club has aligned with Enable Community Foundation, a non-profit organization, which connects with schools to help produce prosthetic hands produced on a 3D printer. The hands are assembled by students and ultimately distributed to amputee children in need throughout the world. The “raptor” hands give the children the ability to grip items that dramatically changes their circumstance. The Interact Club and the Rotaract Club are sponsored by the East Greenwich Rotary’s New Generations program.
Instructors and students in New England Tech’s Mechanical Engineering Technology Department printed the prosthetic hand parts. Using an Objet 30 Prime Polyjet 3D printer with RGD720 Full Cure material, all of the hand parts are printed in a process that takes nearly 16 hours and costs approximately $50 in materials per hand. The East Greenwich Rotary donated $750 towards the printing costs and secured a matching donation of $750 from a Rotary District grant. The Rocky Hill students obtained the hardware needed to assemble the hands and raised more than $1,000 to sponsor those costs.
Students from New England Tech and Rocky Hill School as well as members of the East Greenwich Rotary came together on Thursday to tour NEIT’s Mechanical Engineering Lab where the 3D hands were printed and to assemble the hands and prepare them for shipment to Rwanda.
The East Greenwich Rotary New Generations program focuses on engaging students in community service and teaching them about Rotary initiatives. Rotary Clubs around the globe sponsor Interact Clubs (grades 7-12) and Rotaract Clubs (college level) as a way to connect with and support students who want to give back to their communities. The program is actively involved with students at East Greenwich High School, Cole Middle School, Rocky Hill School, and New England Institute of Technology. In addition, the Rotary Club sponsors students who wish to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, a student-run community service and leadership program held for a weekend each spring. The Club is especially excited about the prosthetic hand project introduced by the Rocky Hill School Interact Club last year, which has expanded to include the New England Tech Rotaract Club.