After years in a wheelchair, Amanda Boxtel, was ready to walk again. After a tragic accident, nearly 12 years ago, Amanda took an unfortunate fall while skiing in Aspen, Colorado. The fall left her paralyzed from the waste down, and of course unable to walk. After 12 years in a wheelchair something incredible has happened.
3D systems, the worlds largest 3D printer company, has designed and printed, with the help of a company called Ekso Bionics, the very first hybrid robotic exoskeleton, in which Amanda was the first test subject. The exoskeleton was shown off at a Singularity University-hosted event in Budapest, Hungary.
In a display straight out of something imagined in a science fiction novel, Amanda was able to stand up tall, with the help of two cane like devices, and walk, in very much, normal fashion. Told she would never walk again, technology and willpower has shown us all to never give up.
“I believe that the most beautiful and functional designs have already been patented by nature, and inspired by Amanda’s incredible spirit. We were able to harness nature’s beauty with 3D printed functionality and freedom of creation to allow her body and spirit to soar,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems.
In order for the team to make sure the device fit perfectly on Amanda’s body, they used sophisticated 3D scanners to capture her every curve. They then printed out the exoskeleton with 3D System’s printers, and Ekso Bionics integrated their actuators and controls into the skeleton.
“After years of dreaming about it, I am deeply grateful and thrilled to be making history by walking tall in the first ever 3D printed Ekso-Suit, made specifically for me. This project represents the triumph of human creativity and technology that converged to restore my authentic functionality in a stunningly beautiful, fashionable and organic design,” said Amanda Boxtel
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