For children with limb absences and discrepancies, prosthetic arms can be extremely expensive, tricky to use, and, like kids clothes or shoes, quickly outgrown, which means that parents have to spend a lot of cash for an important device that won’t last very long. But a research lab in Orlando is providing a creative—and cheaper—alternative, by 3D-printing fully functional and free bionic arms. And they’re tailor-designed to look not like a medical device, but to perfectly suit little fans of Iron Man or Blue Man Group.
There are likely more than 30,000 children under the age of 16 in the U.S. with “limb difference,” the full or partial absence of a limb. Five in 10,000 children are born with limb difference, due to a gestational defect called amniotic band syndrome; others lose limbs to amputations after accidents, commonly with lawn mowers or fireworks, says Albert […]
So-called 3D printing, sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing, is still very early in its evolution, using a...