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Central York student a finalist in national space design competition

Junior Gonzalez
York Dispatch

A Central York High School junior has already fulfilled a personal goal by reaching the shortlist of a national engineering design competition that will have the winning design printed on the International Space Station.

Central York's e-NABLE club founder Patrick O'Neill, 16, is shown with the 3-D printed crescent wrench he designed for the "Two for the Crew" challenge, organized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation and NASA, at Central York High School in Springettsbury Township, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. O'Neill, one of 10 semifinalists, hopes to win the contest to secure a 3-D printer for the e-NABLE club to continue its work. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Patrick O'Neill, 17, is one of four teen finalists in the Two for the Crew competition, which challenges students to design a hybrid tool prototype that could help astronauts working out of the ISS.

Because he reached the finals, Patrick will now decide which public school or library will receive a 3-D printer provided by 3-D printing company MakerBot.

"It is great to have achieved my goal of a 3-D printer for my club," Patrick said Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 20.

"I’m extremely grateful to have had this opportunity. It’s been an amazing process. (Now) I’m looking forward to the finalist results."

Patrick previously told The York Dispatch that he wanted to reach the finals of the competition in order to donate the printer back to the school for his club, e-NABLE, which creates 3-D-printed prosthetic hands for children around the world.

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"It’s great to see that when you work hard at something you get (recognized this way)," Patrick said in early February.

Patrick will present his 3-D design Crescent Moon, which combines an adjustable crescent wrench with textured pliers, to a panel of judges ahead of the announcement of winners on March 14.

While the 3-D printer lifts a huge burden, there are still filament and material kit costs to create the prosthetic hands. Hands cost $15 to produce, according to Patrick's mother, Nancy O'Neill. To donate to the e-NABLE club to help continue prosthetic production, visit www.youcaring.com/hands.