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Plainfield East HS students create 3D printed hand for classmate


(from left) Plainfield East High School chemistry and environmental teacher Rebecca Scott, PEHS senior Spencer Cibulskis, PEHS freshman Laine Cibulskis and PEHS career and technology education-industrial technology architecture/engineering/CAD instructor helped create a 3D printed prosthetic hand for a District 202 student. Two Plainfield East High School students with the help of their teachers created a prosthetic hand to help a District 202 student.

Siblings Spencer and Laine Cibulskis engineered the 3D hand for a District 202 student who did not want to be identified.

Jeffery Heimer, career and technology education-industrial technology architecture/engineering/CAD instructor, and Rebecca Scott, chemistry and environmental teacher, oversaw the project.

“This is definitely something for them to be proud of,” Scott said.

The siblings worked on the project from October to December 2018.

The Cibulskis siblings used plans from the “E-nable” website to customize the 3D hand for the student.

“If we have the resources to do it, why can’t we just make this amazing project to help people,” said freshman Laine Cibulskis.

The main parts of the hand – fingers, knuckles, palm – were printed in Heimer’s class using a 3D printer. PEHS senior Spencer Cibulskis strung the fingers and knuckles together and added a rubber coating to the fingertips to make it easier to hold items.

“Somebody who had something that was needed, and I was able to build something like this, I’m happy to help,” he said.

Students have made useful items such as keychains and cell phone stands using the 3D printer, Heimer said. “But by far this is the most impacting project anybody has used any of our 3D printers for,” he said.

The group would like to see this kind of project included in district’s science curriculum and hopes to make more hands for those who need them.

“I think it’s the real-world applications that are so important especially to science in general,” said Laine Cibulskis. “You can think about a concept however much you want, but it’s important you know how to apply it into the real world and help people and help the community.”