The University of Central Florida (UCF) Engineering Students have developed a robotic arm for a child born without his right arm.
UCF engineering students designed and 3D printed a functional prosthetic arm for 6-year-old Alex Pring after meeting through E-Nable, an online network of 3D printing enthusiasts who develop 3D printed prosthetic hands for those in need. As a volunteer at E-Nable, aerospace engineering Ph.D. student and Fulbright Scholar, Albert Manero met Alex and his family offer his help.
Using a Stratasys Dimension Elite 3D Printer, Manero and his team spent seven weeks working on the design. Through a rapid printing process using Ivory ABS material the team was able to create a strong and light enough prosthetic so that Alex could move with ease.
“He learned to use the prosthetic fast,” Manero said. “When he could control it, the first thing he did was hug his mother. He said it was their first real hug. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. I think 3D printing is revolutionizing our world in many ways. I believe changing the world of prosthetics is very real,” adds Manero. “Stratasys tools with UCF ingenuity will change the world.”
The UCF team will continue to look for new ways to improve their design and as Alex gets older, the team will be able to 3D print a larger arm for a fraction of the cost of traditional prosthetics.
“3D printing is changing the way prosthetics are designed and produced in ways previously not possible,” notes Gilad Gans, president, Stratasys North America. “It’s a remarkable feeling when you see how 3D printing gives a kid the chance to live a happy life like other kids.”
The team plans to publish the design files so that more people can get access to these life changing 3D prints.