A five-year-old South African boy, born without fingers on his right hand, has received a 3D-printed prosthetic hand.
The mother of the boy, named Liam, came across a blog post by Richard Van As of South Africa and Ivan Owen of the United States, detailing their work on prosthetics.
Van As, who lost four fingers following an accident in his workshop, contacted Owen after discovering YouTube videos of the American's prosthetics, ABC News reported.
The two collaborated online despite being separated by over 12 000 kilometres, using emails, photos and Skype video-calls. Owen then visited South Africa in November 2012 for a four-day work session with Van As, producing the first two devices in the process.
Following contact with Liam's mother, the duo decided to create a hand for the boy, using cables and bungee cords for facilitating movement. The fingers and wrist were created using a 3D printer, a device which creates real-world copies of objects, using plastic, resin and other materials.
Since then, Liam has been able to push shopping trolleys, grip objects, throw basketballs and even pick up coins.
Van As and Owens hope to raise enough funds to help others in need, with people from around the world contacting them for assistance.
In fact, the two have made Liam's design available online, allowing anyone to use it at no cost.