Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Angels Give Others a Firm Grasp of Their Own Capabilities

Demarest, NJ: What would you do with a 3D printer? The possibilities are limitless – and can be life altering, as some AHA students recently discovered.

Students from Angels Enable, a relatively new club at the Academy of the Holy Angels, got serious about the opportunity. After Pearl River (NY) resident Molly Doyle discovered Enabling the Future, an organization that connects people who need prosthetics with individuals who are using 3D printers, she led the charge to view 3D printing as a vehicle to assist others through the worldwide network.

With the aid of AHA science teacher Sharon Jureller and now-Principal Jean Mullooly, Doyle organized Angels Enable last year, and the results have been spectacular.

The club created a prosthetic hand and submitted the device for approval, which came through on March 23, 2016.

“Getting approval simply means that the organization, Enabling the Future, recognizes that we have the ability to make a functioning prosthetic, allowing us to be put in a pool of volunteers waiting to be matched with a client in need,” Doyle explained.

Once the club is matched with a recipient, Doyle said, the Angels will have contact with that person and will be able to make a device specifically tailored to their match. Club members plan to keep a close watch on the process.

“This year, the club will work on building more prosthetics, as well as other projects,” Doyle continued. She reported that the club’s first meeting of the year drew over 50 girls.

“The plan for this year is to have new members work in small groups to build prosthetic devices so that they have an understanding of how the hands work and can gain the experience of building a hand. Returning members will have the option of building another prosthetic and helping new members with their hands, or can choose to work on designing a prototype of a prosthetic. This project will be more difficult than construction of a hand, as it will require more computer programming, as well as a lot of trial and error,” Doyle said, noting that the prosthetic design process involves more than just assembly. 

According to Enabling the Future’s website, the organization partners with 3D printing enthusiasts around the globe to help provide free prosthetics to adults and children who were born without fingers, or who have lost fingers for various reasons. The organization is enthusiastic about sharing the necessary plans so more prosthetics can be made and distributed to underserved communities.The website notes that the current model of the hand being produced at AHA and elsewhere features fingers that move together, rather than individually. That means a user with a functional wrist is able to grasp objects with the printed hand.The prosthetic hands can be printed from durable materials so they are long-lasting, and they can be repaired.

Since 1879, thousands of women have passed through the portals of Academy of the Holy Angels high school, the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts and athletics. Our goal is to provide each girl with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically, by offering a first –rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity and giving service to others.



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