While the rest of the world was freaking out about 3D printed guns, Stratasys released a positive story about how 3D printing is impacting the life of one little girl. Emma was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, a condition that has left her with limited movements. There was an Orthopaedic prosthetic called the WREX, but it was far too heavy and cumbersome for such a young girl. I’ll let the video explain everything.
It was too good a story not to post on Solidsmack – 3D printing is really empowering PLM. Not only did the WREX team develop a hardy, Emma-sized exoskeleton to treat her condition, but they were constantly reiterating it as she grew out of the old one and replaced parts as they broke. Emma’s Mom simply emailed pictures of a broken piece and would quickly receive a new one.
For all the talk of personalized manufacturing, the biggest impact of 3D printing is coming from these small specialized labs. Armed with a 3D printer and some solid CAD chops, the WREX team came up with a solution, constantly re-iterated and improved it and made repairs when needed. Designing prostheses for kids isn’t easy – remember Forrest Gump? Things have progressed a little since the 50′s, haven’t they?