Kylie Wicker tries to get a grip on her writing book while in class Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at Whitman Post Elementary School in Rockton.
Kylie Wicker raises her hand to answer a bell-ringer question in April 2014 at Whitman Post Elementary School in Rockton. Kylie began to have problems with her classmates in the beginning of the fourth grade when they began to tease her because of her hand. On one occasion while playing "house" on the playground, a classmate made a comment that "The cat broke it's paw." Kylie was playing the cat.
A magazine featuring the story of Leon McCarthy sits on the dresser of Kylie. The video of McCarthy's story is what inspired the Wickers to find a way to create a 3-D printed prosthetic hand. After being denied by two schools, the Wickers finally caught a break when their email found its way into the inbox of Boylan Catholic High School engineering instructor, Bud May.
Kylie smiles up a Boylan Catholic instructor Bud May as he talks about the next steps to get her a hand that will fit and function. Jeromy Wicker after seeing the Leon McCarthy video, sent out emails to area schools looking for anyone that could possible create the hand. After being turned down by two, the email landed in the inbox of Bud May, the engineering teacher at Boylan Catholic High School. May, intrigued himself, presented the idea to his students who unanimously agreed to help create the hand.
Boylan Catholic instructor Bud May measures Kylie's hand to scale the original plan down to a size that would fit her hand April 2014, at Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford. The open source schematics were too large for Kylie's hand, but with the software the students were easily able to resize the parts down to a size that would fit her.
A newly printed finger sits on the tray of the Makerbot 3-D printer April 2014, at Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford.
Kylie Wicker watches as instructor Bud May cuts away fabric from the prosthetic hand Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford. After the first hand didn't properly fit, the students and May went to find out went wrong exactly. Starting from scratch, they built a new hand and fit it with better straps and padding to allow comfort and mobility.
Students work on smoothing out the sides of the 3-D printed parts April 2014, at Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford. The class filled with a majority of juniors and seniors took on the project and handled everything from resizing, assembling and troubleshooting with the assistance of instructor May.
Boylan instructor Bud May tries to tighten the 3-D printed prosthetic to Kylie's hand while students, family members and media outlets watch May 2, 2014 at Boylan Catholic High School.
Sharon and daughter, Kailyn watch nervously as Bud May and his students try to figure out why the hand isn't functioning properly Friday, May 2, 2014 at Boylan Catholic High School.
Bud May holds Kylie Wicker’s hand after fitting her with a prosthetic hand at Boylan High School in Rockford. The first prosthetic hand didn’t work so May and his Boylan students went back to the drawing board.
Boylan instructor Bud May and athletic trainer John Walter hold the half-constructed Robohand on Monday, April 28, 2014, while adjusting the pads to fit. This was the final pieces that had to be created before being able to finalize the finished hand.
Bud May, Kylie and Sharon Wicker peek over to see the adjustments being made on the hand Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford.
:Kylie Wicker uses her new prosthetic hand to hold a ball for the first time Friday, May 9, 2014, with assistance from her father, Jeromy. The redesigned prosthetic hand worked after the changes were made and allow Kylie to use her other hand for tasks that she has never been able to before.
Kylie Wicker works on a math quiz Monday, May 12, 2014, at Whitman Post Elementary School in Rockton. With the assistance of the hand, Kylie has been able to better hold down paper while writing in school. The hand has also increased her confidence and even led to an increase in her classwork.
Jeromy, Sharon and Kailyn Wicker watch Boylan High School trainer John Walter mold the pad May 5 to fit Kylie Wicker’s wrist at Boylan. BRENT LEWIS/RRSTAR.COM