Child benefits from 3D-printable arms

HumanIPO recently reported on an American company that was set to begin testing prototypes of the first 3D-printable gun, assuming it obtained its federal arms licence.

Defense Distributed expects to receive the permit for the manufacture of firearms within the next month, and claims it is ready to begin testing. But now a slightly less destructive use for 3D printers has emerged, benefitting a young American girl.

Emma was born with a congenital disorder known as arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), which leaves her with hooked or curved joints and muscle weakness. She struggled to move her arms, and indeed could only move her thumb when she was born.

She was initially fitted with the WREX exoskeleton, which gives AMC patients the ability to use their arms. It worked to a limited extent, but proved too large and heavy.

The WREX team therefore used a Stratasys 3D printer, printing the necessary parts out of strong but lightweight plastic. The result was that Emma could use the exoskeleton outside of the lab and in her everyday life. She calls it her “magic arms”. Not only this, but any broken pieces are easily replaced, as her parents simply email a picture of any broken part to the team, who then print it and send it to them.

Posted in: Gadgets

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