Stillwater Teen Develops Low-Cost Prosthetic Legs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Stillwater High School student is well on his way to becoming an inventor.

Everett Kroll, 16, has spent the last year and a half fine-tuning a prosthetic leg he created using a 3-D printer.

He just returned from Los Angeles where he won an award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

everett kroll Stillwater Teen Develops Low Cost Prosthetic Legs

Everett Kroll (credit: CBS)

He was recognized for his work in developing a prosthetic leg that can be produced for a fraction of the current cost.

Kroll says he is learning from his mistakes, researching new ways every day to make the parts of his prosthetic leg stronger and more flexible.

“I was able to realize that a failure was not really a failure,” he said. “It was a place to learn, or a place to keep on developing.”

Using a computer program and his high school’s 3-D printer, Kroll is perfecting a design for an artificial limb that would cost patients about $100 rather than the typical $18,000.

He wants to make them for children in developing countries who have experienced trauma and lost limbs; kids who don’t have the means to pay for prosthetics.

“There are kids in the middle of Nigeria or Sudan that don’t have that. And they maybe don’t even have birch crutches,” he said.

3d printed prosthetics Stillwater Teen Develops Low Cost Prosthetic Legs

Everett Kroll’s 3-D printed prosthetics (credit: CBS)

Kroll is eager to ask for help. He has consulted with doctors at Fairview Medical, talked with prosthetic developers and spent time observing engineers at 3M as they work with 3-D printers in their research.

“I’m actually getting into meetings with people that actually build prosthetics for a living, and they’re going to help me test prototypes or make it even better,” Kroll said.

And now with an award from the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, Kroll has earned some cash to buy materials for his research and help pay for his college education.

Kroll says he is looking for a mentor, especially someone who is in chemical or mechanical engineer or in the medical field with experience in 3-D printing.

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