Written by BISP Year 11 student Liam
Muhammad was born in Malaysia without a left hand having severe symbrachydactyly. After his father read about BISP students building a prosthetic arm for a Bangkok girl two years ago, he contacted Mr Clark. The article was featured in the “e-enable community” that builds prosthetics for people in need. From there, Mr Clark, the BISP Computer Science teacher, approached students from different year groups, asking if they would be keen to begin a second prosthetic arm project for Muhammad. The students eager and excited to take part in the project were BISP Year 10 students Salmon, Nathan, Darren, Year 11 students Rithwik, Latte, Misha, Liam, Vlad and Year 13 students Matthew, Kevin, Scooter, Min Ha and Porpan.
Another exciting project from the Computer Science department at the British International School Phuket
We split the group to undertake different roles, such as liaison and communication, design, 3D printing, manufacturing and fundraising.
The Liaison team were Kevin and Scooter, who contacted the boy’s father for the dimensions of Muhammad’s long arm and then his shorter arm. Further, they also asked if he would like to have a specific design for the prosthetic arm, to which the reply came back as a ‘Spider-Man’ theme.
The design team, which was made up of Liam and Vlad, started with some art drawing concepts in the ‘Spider-Man’ theme for a prosthetic arm. With the final design complete, it was then time to get started with making the prosthetic arm!
The printing group comprising of Nathan, Salmon, Liam, Rithwik, Latte and Vlad then got to work, using the drawings and measurements that the other team members had produced. We used a prosthetic left arm design named “Phoenix” from the “Enabling the Future” platform. We then imported the 3D file to OpenSCAD software to allow us to modify the dimensions to fit Muhammad’s arm. We then configured the 3D printers and fine-tuned the printer settings to commence printing the different components for the prosthetic hand. We used different coloured filaments to create the desired ‘Spider-Man’ theme.
The manufacturing group which was made up of Porpan, Nathan, Salmon, Misha, Matthew and Liam gathered all the parts and strings; a step which proved initially challenging. The first time, the team assembled the hand incorrectly as they didn’t realise that there were slight differences in the finger sizes. As soon as they realised this aspect, it was then easy to undo and reassemble the arm correctly.
For the fundraising element, Min Ha and Matthew organised a bake sale where students designed, produced and sold Dalgona cookies. The funds from this bake sale were used to cover the material costs and the postage required to get the prosthetic arm to Muhammad.
It was great to see what we can all do with 3D printing and enable an improved quality of life for Muhammad. We all loved to support this cause and it is rewarding to have the feedback from the boy’s father in his later correspondence to us shortly before Christmas –
“Muhammad is thrilled, it seems that the hand has become a part of his image- he brings it out everywhere and enjoys the looks and questions he gets from kids and adults. Thank you to the team again!”
Thank you to Mr Clark for enabling such a worthwhile and meaningful project to go ahead in our school and for empowering us to be a part of it.