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3D Modeling Class Lends a Helping Hand

Jun 1, 2023 |

The 3D modeling class at Almaden Country Day School in San Jose, California, recently took on a project that made a real impact in the life of a third-grade student. Garvin Thomas reported on the story for NBC Bay Area. 

It all started when Trent DeSantis’ mother approached the teacher to ask if her class could 3D print a prosthetic hand for her son. Trent was born without a fully formed right hand. Although the middle schoolers had never attempted a prosthetic before, they all agreed to the challenge, led by eighth grader Sarah Vender.  

After a month of trial and error, tossing many pieces in their designated “failure box”, the students designed, printed, and assembled a successful prototype. Trent was able to grasp a bottle with his new hand and the class erupted in celebration. “I felt happy and I was super excited to show my class,” Trent said. With the device he can now even do a two-handed basketball shot for the first time! 

The experience was especially fulfilling for Sarah and has encouraged her to keep going. “I just saw that he was so happy and it made me feel so good that I could do something that could help him so much. I definitely think that I want to pursue that,” Sarah said.  

Inspired by what they accomplished for Trent, this has led to the class featuring prosthetics projects throughout their summer camps this year.