Testing underway on 1st amphibious prosthetic leg

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EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (CBS) Kevin Vaughan is back in the water swimming in a way he hasn't been able to since he lost his leg seven years ago.

"It was huge," Vaughan said. "I'm not just kicking with one leg anymore."

The 28-year-old is wearing the Fin-- a first of its kind prosthetic leg that gives people like Vaughan the ability to get in and out of the water, and to move through the water with ease.

"Water comes off the angles here, through holes and when it kicks it allows you to move forward," explained Todd Goldstein, the director of 3D design and innovation at Northwell Health.

The Fin is the first amphibious prosthetic made with a 3D printer. Goldstein created it.

Vaughan is part of a group testing the Fin in a research study aimed at getting FDA clearance.

Vaughan's leg was amputated in 2011 after a roadside bomb severely injured him during his second tour in Afghanistan. The Marine spent 15 months recovering at Walter Reed.

"Prior to the service I played lacrosse, football, wrestling, always swam at the beach, pool," Vaughan said. "After I got hurt, the first thing I wanted to do was just get back to that status again."

Vaughan is active again with the help of various prosthetics. But when it comes to swimming, current waterproof legs have limitations.

"It's just basically attaching a small anchor to your leg. And that's not gonna be something that is beneficial," Goldstein said.

The Fin is designed to give swimmers a more natural sensation while swimming and they don't have to switch out prosthetics when getting in and out of the water.

Reporter: Exciting?
Kevin Vaughan: Very exciting.
Reporter: And what's it like to know that the leg was made with a 3D printer?
Kevin Vaughan: Yeah, that just blows my mind... I am mostly excited about being able to swim balanced again... having that feeling of feeling like I have a real leg again.

Researchers hope to bring the Fin to the market in three to five months.