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UTC Leeds students use technical skills to change lives

3D printer UTC

Talented students at UTC Leeds are using the latest state-of-the-art technology to print prosthetic hands for people in need across the world.

The students apply their technical training to create the hands using the school’s 3D printers. The prosthetic hands will be couriered to a global charity called Enable the Future and distributed to adults and children in countries such as Haiti, South Africa and Ghana as well as in the UK. After the first batch of hands are delivered, the students will receive bespoke measurements meaning each future hand can be perfectly tailored to its recipient.

Mark Kennedy, Principal, UTC Leeds explained:

We’re making hands using the Ultimaker 3D printers but very soon we hope to start printing prosthetics which can be attached at the elbow. The project is phenomenal and means UTC Leeds students can put their new 3D printing skills to the test in the most remarkable of ways.

Recipients are often born with missing fingers, or have lost them due to war, disease or natural disaster. These 3D hands and arms can make once impossible tasks possible. Simple things like holding a ball, tying a shoelace or riding a bike suddenly become possible. They are life changing devices and this is very much the healthcare of the future.

Bradley Mellor, Head of Engineering, who leads the project at UTC Leeds, talked about the ‘real life’ projects students work on with some of the school’s 80 employer partners, companies such as Agfa, Sound Leisure and Siemens.

The UTC is all about getting young people on the right path towards exciting and rewarding careers in engineering and industry. We’re combining technical, practical and academic learning and offering students the opportunity to work on life-changing projects.

Year 10 and Year 12 students who are interested in joining the school in September are invited to an Open Day event on March 1 at UTC Leeds. Employers, students and teachers will be on hand to discuss the opportunities and how to apply. The University of Leeds, another partner at the Hunslet Road school will also be attending.

For more information about UTC Leeds visit and download a prospectus or call 0113 353 0140 for more details about the forthcoming open evenings.

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