A prosthetic arm presented to the biggest fan

Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 15, 2015

This week a 7-year-old Georgia boy was presented with a homemade prosthetic arm.
Sure, that may sound like nothing to brag about.
However, when that arm was made by a 3-D printer to look like the arm of a Star Wars Stormtrooper, and was presented to a Star Wars fan, such a gift can’t get any more exciting.
Liam Porter, of Augusta, is now has use of a prosthetic arm made by John Peterson who used his personal 3-D printer to create the functional prosthetic.
Stories like these not only demonstrate how 3-D printing may become a household item in the near future, but also shed light on how people can set aside their time to help another.
Porter, who was born without a portion of his left arm, now has a functional prosthetic that he can be proud of. And Peterson can proudly display a smile on his face after helping this young man.
While it’s certain Porter will outgrow his new arm, and therefore need another one, the availability of 3-D printing will mean he can secure one at a fraction of the cost of a professionally made device.
According to the story published in the Augusta Chronicle, health insurance companies are reticent to cover the expense of prostheses since the child will quickly outgrow them. That’s where the group e-NABLE comes in. It’s an online collaboration of people with 3-D printers willing to make prosthetics for children.
The site now offers the plans to build small prosthetic devices for free.
It began as a collaboration between an American prop maker and an African carpenter to provide a prosthetic hand to an African boy, but has since ballooned to include people from all walks of life.
So if you have a 3-D printer and some free time, you may want to join their cause.

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