If you have a nine-year-old girl in your life, you’ve probably seen Frozen. Actually, if you have a nine-year-old girl in your life, you’ve not only seen the movie, you’ve heard the analysis, you’ve been asked to see it again, the song “Let It Go” has been stuck in your head at inappropriate times, and then…you’ve seen the movie again. So it comes as no surprise that nine-year-old Karissa Mitchell of Stillwater, NY is a big fan.
Many kids express their enthusiasm for the movie by wearing t-shirts, playing with dolls, or just endlessly singing the songs, but Karissa has a unique way of expressing her connection to the movie, through a Frozen-inspired prosthetic arm. Born without her right hand, she never suspected that difference would enable her to wear her fandom in a way so particular to her. The arm was provided by students at Siena College in New York, as part of e-NABLE Siena and led by senior Alyx Gleason. And Karissa couldn’t have been happier with her unique new arm, which she described as “awesome.”
“Because it would be a lot boring if everybody was like everybody,” she said.
The Siena students formed their own chapter of e-NABLE, which works to provide free prosthetics to those in need around the world. During Karissa’s first efforts with her prosthetic arm, her father grinned from ear to ear and her mother, Maria Mitchell, described the experience while holding back tears of joy:
“They are helping kids who otherwise might not get something like this. It’s heartwarming to know that college kids are doing this. Just because you may be a little different you can do what you want to do as long as you just have a goal and do it. She’s going to be something.”
The arm was a year in development and then it took 30 hours of printing to bring it from digital to physical form. Containing over 30 separate pieces, the fingers of the prosthetic hand contract and close when the wearer bends her elbow, something Karissa was able to master in just a few tries. The Siena students say that they will continue working with Karissa, and will make her a new arm whenever she needs one – which will likely be often as she still has a lot of growing left to do.
This is just the latest in a string of prosthetics for children that have been created as a result of e-NABLE. Their wide reach is made possible by the open source commitment that is so strong among members of the 3D printing community. Providing prosthetic limbs to children is the kind of community service-oriented STEM project that is within reach for a growing number of college and high school students interested in using their 3D printing knowledge to make a difference in someone’s life. Discuss this inspirational project further over in the 3D Printed Frozen Prosthetic forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: News10]
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