Waterloo man makes and donates prosthetics

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Bruce Newell uses 3D printers to make prosthetic hands and arms. He gives the prosthetics away for free, and to any person in need.

"I wonder if we're bent too tight on here," Newell said.

He says each prosthetic needs to fit comfortably.

"Does it hurt on that side?"

Six-year-old Jack Williams is in for his third fitting. Together, they are making the arm a perfect fit.

Jack's arm is just the latest in more than 100 prosthetics Newell has made. Newell's production became so large, he even opened up a shop in the basement of Waterloo's Goodwill store.

"I had been printing out my garage, which wasn't real nice but it worked," Newell said.

After retiring, Newell says he began to notice how many children don't have arms or hands. That reason alone made him want to help.

"I got to watch myself. When you see them get a hand on and you see them move and they've never had it, it'll bring tears to your eyes I guarantee that," Newell said.

Kiddos like Jack, who lost his arm at just one month old.

"He was a premature baby. He was born with a sore on his arm and we didn't know what it was, and it ended up being a blood clot in his armpit, impeding blood flow in his arm," Michelle Williams, Jack's mom, said.

The Williams contacted Newell about three weeks ago. And he says the prosthetic will be ready to use in just a few days, after the last fitting.

"We'll get it for you yet, I promise you that," Newell said.

Then this rambunctious six year old will be ready, with both arms, for summer vacation.

"Do a front flip with two hands," Jack said.

Newell is partnered with the national nonprofit, "Enabling the Future."