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Life-Changing Creation: Students Make New Hand for Little Boy

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CRESTLINE, Ohio-- A fifth-grader from Shelby will soon be getting a brand new mechanical hand.

"I'm really excited because I could do stuff with two hands like bowling,” said Riley Plante, 11.

The prosthetic was designed by a manufacturing class at Crestline High School.

"It's truly awesome like to see how excited he is. It hits you in the heart because you realize everyone takes everything for granted with two hands and he only has one and now we are giving him another hand to be able to use,” said Kenzie Byers, a senior.

Riley was born with Jacobsen Syndrome and as a result of the disease he was born with no right hand.

Crestline students built the hand using free online blueprints. Then they used a 3D printer to make the parts to put it together.

Riley has used prosthetic hands in the past but they were all too bulky and heavy.

Prosthetics can be expensive especially with a growing child but this mechanical hand cost only $25 to make.

"What if you spent $30,000 on a prosthetic to have them outgrow it in a matter of a few months; whereas with 3D printing technology, we don't care if he breaks it, if he outgrows it, that's fine because we will just print a new part and he is back and going again,” said Keith Strickler, an industrial technology teacher at Crestline High School.

By the end of next week Riley will be getting his new hand.

“You can try and make a hand that looks like everybody else but why not for a fifth grader, why not make something that everybody will be jealous of something different?” said Strickler.

Riley loves to play video games and wants to be a veterinarian when he grows up.

"He'd like to be a vet, ya know, and if you have to do surgery and stuff like that, you have to use scissors and needles and thread, right? Ooh. You forgot that part? Yea,” said Kelly Zalcrajsek, Riley’s mother.