Bloomsburg University Students Using 3D Tech to Pay It Forward

BLOOMSBURG, Pa.  -- A student at Bloomsburg University who is visually impaired knows what it is like not to be able to do everyday tasks. Now, he's teamed up with one of his classmates to help make life easier for other people who are struggling.

Three years ago, Jesse Johnson, from Northumberland, was given the gift of sight when he received a pair of eSight glasses. Jesse is a junior at Bloomsburg University and has been legally blind since birth. These electronic glasses allow him to see clearly.

"I can be very successful in college," Jesse said. "I don't need as much big print as I used to since I got these three years ago. I can actually read books."

Earlier this year, Jesse met Jake Latchum who is also a junior at Bloomsburg University. Jake had an idea for a project through the university's Association for Information Systems club. He wanted to make prosthetic hands for people.

"Just picking up a water bottle for the first time with their left hand that they haven't been able to do anything with would be amazing and life-changing for those individuals," Latchum said.

An alumnus donated two 3D printers to Bloomsburg University back in August, and since then, some of the students have been using them every chance they get.

A few months ago, Jake and Jesse started making prosthetic hands with the 3D printers at the university.

"It hits me personal because, with limited vision and these glasses, I kind of understand how they feel. It's kind of what's driven me to do this," Jesse said.

"There's so many things that people go through in life but just doing something to make people's life better is life-changing," Jake added.

This project would have been impossible for Jesse without his eSight glasses which essentially serve as his prosthetic eyes.

"Then I thought a lot of people helped me get my glasses and I just want to give back as gratitude for that."

The students are currently building a prosthetic fingertip for a Bloomsburg University professor.

The students are looking for people who could be helped with this project. If you know of anyone, you can contact them here.

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