We have always been fascinated by the 3D printing technology. Here’s a great example of 2-year-old Emma who was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), a rare disease that cripples joints and limbs. So she couldn’t play with her blocks, eat food or even hug her mother.
Then the engineers at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children used a 3D printer to create a durable exoskeleton that helps her lift her arms. After wearing the supportive plastic vest, she was finally able to lift her hand to her mouth for the first time. Amazing, isn’t it?
Looking at the technology, the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX) is made of hinged metal bars, resistance bands and tiny 3D printed parts. Emma calls them her Magic Arms. Emma was one of the first patients to wear the WREX. The ease of 3D printing makes customization of parts possible. When a piece breaks, on-demand printers enable quick fixes. If a child outgrows a vest, the engineers can simply print larger parts out. So, this is a big advantage. Do you think on-demand 3D printing in hospitals will become increasingly popular in the future? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.