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3D Printed Bionic Arm Changes Madelyn Rebsamen's Life

Life for 7-year-old Madelyn Rebsamen from Lynchburg, Virginia changed over the Thanksgiving holiday. Madelyn received a special gift of a bionic, custom-made 3D printed arm. She was born missing a large portion of her left arm. The new 3D printed bionic arm will now allow her to play on the monkey bars and catch a ball. 

This is wonderful news for Madelyn, but the 3D printed part of this story has been told in the past by people around the world receiving 3D printed hands. Thousand of people around the world can now afford prosthetic thanks to the new technology of 3D printing. The new printed prosthetics are easier to customize and print, and are more affordable. 

However, there are two problems with these prosthetics; there is only a simple mechanical grip and they are mainly created to replace the hand. The printed hand works with a flick of the wrist in an upward or downward motion that moves the fingers inward or outward.

Fortunately, for prosthetics wearers this is already an improvement over the traditional unaffordable prosthetics on the market today. The real revolution in amputee convenience will come in the form of bionic prosthetics. A new prosthetic that will function and register the electronic signals from the arm muscles. However, bionic prosthetics aren’t widely available at the current time. But more prototypes are being made and tested, like Madelyn’s new arm. The new prosthetic is quite special because it replaces a large section of Madelyn’s arm and not just her hand.

The Limbitless Solutions Foundation created the new bionic prosthetic for Madelyn and a group of student volunteers from the University of Central Florida installed her arm just in time for Thanksgiving. Madelyn’s new arm is superior to any traditionally-made models on the market today. The bionics used in her arm is quite durable and the arm has been tested to withstand drops and stress from normal use. Any piece of her arm or hand that is broken can easily be printed and replaced. 

The Limbitless Solutions Foundations are an engineering community that has devoted their research and studies to bionic arms and other bionic prosthetics. Currently their custom-made bionic arms aren’t widely available on the market today. The team is working on this problem of expanding their services and working with other student volunteers across the country. The team is starting a new project to develop a bionic leg so they can expand the number of people they can assist.

Image: 3ders.org

Ann Johnston

About Ann Johnston

Ann enjoys writing, reading, gardening, fishing and the great outdoors. Her job has allowed her to travel and live in different countries. She enjoys studying and learning about different cultures.

Ann Johnston

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