03 Aug '12, 7pm

Two-year-old girl’s bionic arms are the world’s best use of 3D printing:

Two-year-old girl’s bionic arms are the world’s best use of 3D printing:

This super-sweet toddler, whose name is Emma, has a congenital disorder that means she doesn’t have the muscle strength to lift her arms by herself. But hey, no big deal — this robot exoskeleton can do it for her. And because it’s 3D-printed out of inexpensive, lightweight plastic, replacement is no big deal when she outgrows it (or if she breaks a part). As far as I’m concerned, this singlehandedly justifies the existence of 3D printing. Emma’s exoskeleton, which she calls her “magic arms,” is based on the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton , or WREX. The WREX is typically made of metal, but Emma’s too small for such heavy equipment. So researchers Tariq Rahman and Whitney Sample figured out how to make her a lightweight plastic WREX using a Dimension 3D printer. That also makes Emma’s WREX modular — if she needs a replacement part, they can just print one up for her, out of ...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/two-year-old-girls-bionic-arms-are-...

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