Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Attempt to Break Guinness Record of 1,647 High-Fives Falls Short, But Brings Attention to 3D Printed Prostheses

ST Medical Devices

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The attempt to break the Guinness World Record for consecutive high-fives may not have succeeded (it does stand at a daunting 1,647 participants) but the High-Five Chain to draw attention to the work of Limbitless Solutions, a group of University of Central Florida doctoral students led by Albert Manero, was indeed a success.
Alex Pring 3d printed arm

“It’s all about changing the world. We want to be able to give a limb to every child who needs it and empower others to be a part of the effort,” Manero says.

A Fulbright Scholar, Manero is pursuing a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering at UCF, and he’s one of some 1,300 members of E-nabling the Future.

Limbitless_Alex PringAlex Pring, the first of the kids to receive his robotic arm, was happy with the effort nonetheless.

“We did it, even though we didn’t do great…it was fun,” 7-year-old Pring told Centralfloridafuture.com.

Pring was born in Groveland, Florida without most of his right arm and he got by using his left hand. Alex’s mother, Alyson, faced with the fact that insurance companies don’t typically cover the cost of prosthetic devices for children as they quickly grow out of them, contacted e-NABLE and met Manero through that group.

Limbitless Solutions created the 3D printed bionic arm for Pring in July of last year, and the arm was given to Alex free. So far, families from more than 25 countries have contacted Limbitless Solutions inquiring about the technology.

Manero, the founder of the nonprofit organizations Collective Projects and Limbitless Solutions, says his team prints the arms for between $80 and $400. Manero and Limbitless Solutions designed Pring’s prosthetic hand and lower arm. The arm is activated by muscular movement in Pring’s bicep, and Manero says the designs for that arm — eight weeks in the making — have been donated to e-NABLE to take their place among the six other hand and arm designs already available.

Pring’s arm cost about $350 in materials, and it’s the first one built for a child without a wrist or elbow.

The team of UCF engineering students who built Pring’s arm were honored at an event called the STEAM Gala, the culminating event in a series of activities held to demonstrate the power of science, engineering, technology and the art to change the lives of everyday people.

The members of Limbitless found attention across the nation in July when they presented Pring with his arm. The arm was built with off-the-shelf servos and batteries, and it allowed Alex to give his mother a real hug with both arms for the first time.

“Our team really feels strongly that you should not be profiting from giving children arms,” Manero says.

To donate to Limbitless Solution and the Collective Project, you can visit www.3DHope.com.

Do you plan to work on the e-Nable project or donate to Limbitless Solutions? Have you heard of any other projects that use 3D printing to make the world better. Let us know in the High Fives and 3D Printed Arms forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

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