East Tennessee teens print 3-D prosthetic arm for girl

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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - "Look at that! So once you put it on your elbow and you close your elbow, it's gonna help close it," explained her adoptive mom as 6-year-old Aniyah Irwin got her first look at a new prosthetic arm. The family living in Tunisia met in Nashville with Maryville teens Jaden Bogert and Caroline Stedina to receive the arm and thank them for their efforts.

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Aniyah's family said she was born without her arm being completely formed, and this new arm would give her the chance to grasp with fingers like she can with the other side of her body. Bogert and Stedina designed the hand in the blue and green colors that Aniyah chose. They used colored filaments that feed into 3-D printing machines in Barry Lucas' engineering classroom at Clayton-Bradley Academy in Maryville.

"When these strings get tight and someone bends their wrist, the fingers close," explained Bogert. "This is the arm that we printed for Aniyah," she showed while pointing to the E-nable website. The students used the site to get directions for making the arm and also networked via the site to connect with someone in need of a prosthetic.

Instructor Lucas said he's proud of the teens taking on the challenge. "The initiative and desire that they had to move this forward from day one when I presented it to them."

"It makes me feel really good that I can help someone that much," said Bogert. She added that she and Stedina plan on making a new arm in the future when Aniyah outgrows this one.

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