Padmaloshn high fives little sister with new 3D printed hand.
One of the greatest feats of 3D printing is its ability to transform and improve lives of those in need and there are few better examples of that than the e-NABLE Project. TCT has covered many stories over the years about people who have benefited from this global network of volunteers who design and improve 3D printed prosthetic devices for those who need them most and the stories just keep on coming.
The latest is from Kuala Lumpur, where a seven year old boy, Padmaloshn Vijayan, who was born without a fully developed right hand, recently received his first 3D printed hand thanks to a volunteer teacher and clinical team manager at Materialise Malaysia, Ayishwariya Menon.
“When I first met Padmaloshn in one of my classes, I was immediately struck by his resourcefulness,” Ayishwariya recalls in the Materialise Blog. “He used both his arms to have a normal life, and he was clearly an ace at making LEGO models, drawing, painting — you name it. I was so impressed.”
Padmaloshn's parents had already looked into a treatment for his condition, known as Amelia, but functional prosthetics proved out of reach. Determined to find a solution, Ayishwariya turned to e-NABLE to come up with an open-source, customisable solution. Through this, Ayishwariya was able to personalise the e-NABLE hand along with a team of engineers at the Materialise Malaysia office and source the final assembly parts from the e-NABLE community.
Ayishwariya and Padmaloshn.
Dr. John Schull, who founded e-NABLE in 2013, said: “This is a technology that allows designers to become makers and customised prosthetics to become an accessible reality. Our e-NABLE community numbers in the thousands, and it’s only an open-source approach that could make the most of the good work by all these people.”
The hand was 3D printed using laser sintering technology at the Materialise Headquarters in Belgium and finished in Padmaloshn's favourite colour, blue. The hand was then flown over to Malaysia where Ayishwariya assembled all of the pieces.
Padmaloshn tested his brand new 3D printed hand in front of his family who were able to witness him use it for the first time. He is now able to grip objects, play a game of catch and of course play with his favourite LEGO with ease.
Padmaloshn's mother commented: “With the hand, he looks so much more confident. I think it’s just a matter of time and learning: eventually he will be able to do a lot of things with the hand.”
As Padmaloshn will ultimately grow out of this prosthetic, Materialise has agreed to provide him a new hand, free of charge, every year until he is 18.