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Father develops 3D printing prosthetic arm for his son

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2019-07-11 10:35

About the solution

Jamie got this device when he was 10 years old. However, not having the left hand never stopped him. “Jamie was born without one hand but he honestly never made an issue of it. He still does everything any other little kid would. He’s always been out playing and enjoying himself with friends”, the father explained.

The idea for this 3D printing gadget came after a friend of Callum's had sent him a link to Team UnLimbited, an organisation that makes robotic limbs. The father sent them a message, telling all about Jamie, but they told him he had to wait for 18 months to get a 3D printing prosthetic arm.

So Callum decided to build the arm himself. After seeking advice online, he bought a 3D printer. Then he started viewing videos about this technique, reading tutorials and checking open source designs online.

“I printed out a hand originally but there wasn’t enough movement from it so then moved onto a full arm. On the first attempt, it turned out great which was surprising. When Jamie got used to it and started picking things up it was really emotional because he’d never had that experience before. He went to school with it on and all of his friends and teachers were really impressed”, the inventor described.

Jamie also helps with the designs - he now has several different arms, in different colours, some feature flashing colourful lights and another is styled with the Batman logo. "Jamie comes up with designs as well as I do, including a steampunk one which is gold and bronze. We just fire off ideas at each other, really”, Callum said.

With these gadgets, not only can Jamie now hold and carry more things, as well as to catch and throw a ball, it also help him feel more confident and good about himself. "Instead of hiding away a disability, they're more happy to show that they've got one because they've got something cool to show off”, the inventor expressed.

Callum now intends to make the device more sophisticated. ‘It works on myo sensors, which are little sensors which sit on Jamie’s muscle on his arm and we plug them into the laptop at the moment but it has a little board that takes the programme. When Jamie moves his arm the fingers open and close. At the moment it’s quite mechanical. The idea of this [new] one is that it’ll be Jamie’s muscles and technically him trying to move his fingers so it will sort of be a semi-bionic arm on its own”, he noted.

Adapted from: https://bit.ly/2sbkslV

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Callum Miller, born in the UK, in 1967, created a 3D printing prosthetic arm for his son Jamie, who was born without his left hand.

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