IT Tallaght students and staff print new hand for Laois boy


The students and staff of the Institute of Technology, Tallaght have 3D-printed a prosthetic hand for a ten-year old boy Josh McKenna. Josh is the first person in Ireland to receive a 3D-printed hand.

Josh, from Portarlington, Co. Laois, suffered from a rare birth defect which left him with just a thumb on his right hand. His mother got in touch with the charity E-Noble, an American charity that provides 3D hands, who then connected her with Dublin-based designer Stephen Dignam who had gotten a 3D printer for a lighting project.

Stephen then contacted his friend and fellow ITT lecturer Robbie O’Connor and the college printed Josh a new hand. Josh was involved in the design and Josh’s mother Annette said that he loves his new hand and the other kids in school love it too.

She said, “He’s brilliant with it. He’s super cool in school now because everybody wants one of these.”

3D printing is a process for making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many successive thin layers of a material.