…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….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!