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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Lifestyle
7-year-old with 3-D printed hand throws out World Series’ first pitch
    2017-November-3  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

THE ceremonial first pitch is a time-honored tradition in baseball. For Game 4 of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros on Saturday in Houston, a young girl from Nevada took the challenge. Hailey Dawson is in the midst of a 30-ballpark tour, throwing the first pitch for every MLB team, with the aid of a 3-D printed prosthetic hand created by a research team at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dawson, a 7-year-old second grader, was born with a rare condition known as Poland syndrome, leaving her without three fingers on her right hand.

But prosthetics are traditionally extremely pricey, and many insurance plans won’t cover the US$25,000+ to supply them for children, deeming them “unnecessary,” unlike a leg. Children quickly outgrow the devices and the cost starts to add up. It’s a hole in the healthcare system that has been tackled by a number of groups in the 3-D printing industry.

Using a 3-D printer to create a customized 3-D printed hand or arm dramatically reduces the manufacturing cost and allows for much easier part swapping, should something be broken or its wearer just grows out of it.

Haley’s mom, Yong, turned for help near their hometown, reaching out to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“I emailed UNLV engineering, and they responded. We met up and, you know, they accepted the challenge,” Yong said.

Brendan O’Toole, chairman of the mechanical engineering department, said he and his team get a lot of requests, “but this one was different.” They got to work using a 3-D printer. Several prototypes and fittings later, Hailey got her first hand three years ago just in time for Halloween.

“They had the little pumpkin thing for her so she was able to hold it and walk around with it,” Yong said. She said that was awesome, but “the coolest part for me though was watching her hold her dad’s hand.”

“We’ve worked on a lot of fun projects but this one, to actually give it to somebody who’s using it and needs it right away and appreciates, it’s great,” O’Toole said.

This is a family of baseball fanatics, so the next stop naturally was the mound.

“Initially we looked at it as a functional type thing. But it slowly became a confidence builder for her,” Yong said.

Hailey began throwing out first pitches at UNLV games before she got a shot at the majors with the Baltimore Orioles, her favorite team.

“She’s sometimes shy. But when she gets that hand on — she knows and expects that people are just drawn to it,” Yong said.

When Hailey set out to conquer every ballpark in the league, dozens of teams answered the call, many tweeting out invites.

Then last month, the World Series came calling.

“I started crying. Who gets to do that? My daughter. She gets to do that,” Yong said. “When she does it, she talks about Poland syndrome, she talks about her hand. It’s that awareness for her. It’s that awareness for us.”

UNLV even fitted Hailey with a special hand just for the occasion.

“Additive manufacturing has made it possible to provide low-cost prosthetic devices for children like Hailey,” O’Toole said.

“We can now make a few measurements of a child’s hand, process them through our custom design tool that generates 37 CAD models in a few minutes, and then have printed parts ready the next day.”

O’Toole’s team got to work creating a hand on a Stratasys 3-D printer. “That’s the beauty of 3-D printing,” Stratasys’ Jesse Roitenberg said. “It’s not just printing the next rocket or the dashboard of a Ford. It’s being used to improve lives.”

It also offers kids the ability to customize their arms, like the Iron Man kid a few years ago, or, in Dawson’s case, the colors of the team she’s visiting.

(SD-Agencies)

 

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