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July 31, 2014 AT 6:00 am

Engineering students 3-D-print “bionic” arm for 6-year-old — for under $350 #maketheworld #3DThursday #3DPrinting

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Engineering students 3-D-print “bionic” arm for 6-year-old — for under $350. From Salon.com:

…Up until now six-year-old Alex Pring, of Groveland, Florida has been without a prosthesis. His parents’ insurance company refused to pay for a prosthetic arm, due to the high cost — $40,000 — and the fact that children grow out of their artificial limbs so quickly. His parents, Alyson and Steven Pring, were unable to afford the out-of-pocket expense.

The Prings turned to an online volunteer organization e-NABLE. By their own definition e-NABLE is “a World wide movement of tinkerers, engineers, 3D print enthusiasts, occupational therapists, university professors, designers, parents, families, artists, students, teachers and people who just want to make a difference.” It was inspired by two makers who created a 3-D-printed prosthetic hand for a South African boy and then gave the blueprints away for free.

The organization put the Prings in contact with Albert Manero at the University of Central Florida. Manero is a Fulbright Scholar, with both his bachelor’s and master’s in aerospace engineering. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.

Manero led a team of student engineers in creating a “bionic” arm for Alex Pring. Unlike other prostheses, Alex Pring’s arm cost less than $350 worth of materials. The arm took eight weeks to create, and was built using a 3-D printer, instructions downloaded from the Web, along with batteries and other mechanisms purchased online….

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