ECPI University Faculty Member Uses 3D Printer to Create Prosthetics

ECPI University Faculty Member Uses 3D Printer to Create Prosthetics

Helping Hands

When the Richmond/Innsbrook campus received its newest 3D printer, Dr. Negar Ghochaghi had an idea. “I was thinking of doing some side projects to help students as well as helping the community,” says Dr. Ghochaghi.

Recently, she was introduced to the e-NABLE Community, a group of people from all over the world who create 3D printer files to make hands and arms for those who need them. Collectively, they come together to improve designs for hands and arms for individuals who were born missing limbs or lost them due to accidents, disaster, or war.

Through her research, Dr. Ghochaghi realized this was an ideal opportunity for her students. By establishing an e-NABLE chapter on campus, her students could learn and help others, literally by giving the world a “helping hand.” ECPI University’s Graphics Communication Course, part of the EET/MET curriculum, pairs well with this effort as it prepares students for careers in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and printing industries.

“I believe that by having this chapter, we are giving our students the opportunity to apply newly-learned skills in a very practical way,” says Dr. Ghochaghi. “They will see the results when somebody benefits from their design and prints.”

Dr. Ghochaghi and her students have already completed their first hand and – most importantly – identified a recipient. “We were so excited to work on this first project,” she says. “He is an international candidate who lost his hands in an accident. Hopefully, with help from our students, we will be successful in improving his quality of life. Having an impact like this on someone is really beyond measure.”