A “bionic” hand created by students in Huddersfield is helping a 10-year-old girl live a more independent life.

A story in the Examiner earlier this year explained how students at the University of Huddersfield had assembled an E-Nable Prosthetic Hand using 3D printing techniques and were seeking a charity which could benefit from it.

Now a prosthetic hand created by the students is enabling 10-year-old Kelsie Williams to do things she could never do before – like skipping and riding her bike.

Dave Johnson, who lives in Mold, North Wales, contacted the students after reading the story on the Examiner website. He told them how his granddaughter Kelsie, who had been born with no fingers on her right hand, was looking for a prosthetic hand she could use.

A prosthetic hand similar to the one created for 10-year-old Kelsie Williams by students at Huddersfield University
A prosthetic hand similar to the one created for 10-year-old Kelsie Williams by students at Huddersfield University

Younes Chahid, of the university’s printing society, said the students discussed Kelsie’s requirements with Mr Johnson and consulted E-Nable, a group of individuals from all over the world who use 3D printers to create free 3D printed hands and arms for people needing them.

The students 3D printed the design for an E-nable Raptor Reloaded prosthetic hand as the most suitable for Kelsie. They assembled it and after contacting the family again, Kelsie and her grandfather made the two-hour car journey to Huddersfield to let her try it out.

The students also threw a surprise party for Kelsie complete with celebration cake and nibbles.

The device works by the user bending the wrist to force the fingers of the prosthetic hand to open and close.

Kelsie Williams uses the prosthetic hand created by Huddersfield University students to pick up a ball during her visit to the university
Kelsie Williams uses the prosthetic hand created by Huddersfield University students to pick up a ball during her visit to the university

Within a few minutes of trying out the prosthetic hand, Kelsie was using it to grip objects and pick up a ball. A few hours later, on her way back to Wales, Mr Johnson sent the students a video showing Kelsie using her new hand to hold a 3D printed grey Pikachu that she saw being made by the students.

Mr Johnson said: “Kelsie has a prosthetic hand from the NHS, but it is heavy and it hurts. The new one is still a bit uncomfortable because it is new and she cannot use it all the time.

Kelsie Williams lifts a dragon goblet using the prosthetic hand createrd using 3d printing by Huddersfield University students
Kelsie Williams lifts a dragon goblet using the prosthetic hand createrd using 3d printing by Huddersfield University students

“She picked it up straight away because she is interested in it and has wanted one for a long time. The student made a couple of fine adjustments to it for her and she managed to pick up small objects.

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"Now she can pick up objects, turn them around and tip them. She is able to drink from a plastic tumbler and hold a mixing bowl with it while she whisks with her left hand.

“It is amazing what it will allow her to do. She has even used it at Brownies to do a couple of tasks and get more badges.”