Johns Hopkins trauma surgeon Albert Chi gave a talk last year to families about advanced prosthetics that would someday benefit their children who were missing hands.
But when a parent asked what was easy, available and affordable now, Chi was at a loss. After focusing on the latest artificial limb technology, he began to hunt for more basic options.
Like many researchers, entrepreneurs and even artists in recent years, he turned to the 3-D printer. With one his wife bought him for Father's Day, sheets of colored plastic, and free designs and advice found online, he made a hand for about $20.
"One of the first kids we fitted was a 2-year-old," Chi said....