Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2019

“As engineers, we’re supposed to be problem-solvers,” said Tidewater Community College student AJ Bafetti.

Bafetti followed his own advice, designing and manufacturing a prosthetic arm in a TCC lab. This spring and summer, the story of his ingenuity was first reported in Tidewater Virginia, and quickly found its way to newsrooms across the country.

Bafetti was born without a left forearm, but has been quick to adapt to life’s challenges. His self-designed device, which he calls a “Light Arm” not only helps him with daily activities, but also has inspired others.

It took several months of design work, but Bafetti, with the help of peers and faculty at TCC, was able to come up with plans and used the 3-D printer at the Advanced Technology Lab on the college’s Virginia Beach campus.

Speaking with WTKR, the head of TCC’s engineering program, Paul Gordy, said, “One of the things I noticed from the beginning: AJ was pretty fearless and ready to tackle anything. He really didn’t seem to view his missing arm as a limitation.”

Bafetti will finish the coursework for his associate of science degree in engineering by the end of the summer and transfer to Old Dominion University this fall for his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering.

Read TCC’s news release about Bafetti here.

Featured image: TCC engineering student AJ Bafetti (right) shows off the prosthetic arm he designed and produced during an interview with WTKR TV reporter Margaret Cavanaugh.'

Jim Babb

Jim Babb works for Virginia's Community Colleges in the Office of Strategic Communications.

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