Teen Uses 3D Printer to Create Prosthetics For Kids In Need
He's helping people all over the world – and in his own home.
Joseph Hoff got his first 3D printer when he was just 9 years old.
While designing and building with the printer over the years has been fun, the Orem, UT native wanted to use his skills to make a difference in people's lives. He got involved with 4-H, an organization that provides mentorship and hand-on learning opportunities for youth to help them succeed.
After seeing his 4-H mentor print a prosthetic for a child at a local science fair, he knew what he wanted to do. Adding to his desire to help others is the fact that his dad, Andrew Hoff, has minimal control of his right hand due to a stroke he had when he was 25.
Hoff got to work creating prosthetics with his 3D printer. He partnered with a non-profit to help get the prosthetics to the people that needed them. After printing and assembling dozens of artificial limbs, he started mentoring other youth and teaching them how to do the same.
Hoff's efforts earned him a 4-H Youth in Action Award in 2020 along with a $5,000 scholarship. He'll have the opportunity to present his work in Washington D.C. later this year.
Through it all, Joseph said that his dad has been his motivation. He says his next project is building a wrist-activated opening device to help him regain some use of his right hand.
As for Andrew, who's an engineer himself, he couldn't be prouder of his son's accomplishments.
"I am just so impressed with him," he told KUTV.
Joseph Huff (R) and his father Andrew Huff (L) talk to KUTV about Joseph's project. KUTV
Kudos to Joseph for using what he loves to help people in need. We can't wait to see how far he'll go!