This is the story of Emma, a two-year old girl who was born with the congenital disorder arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. AMC, meaning ‘curved or hooked joints’, is characterized by a shortening of joints and supporting muscles (Thank you Wikipedia! The check is in the mail!). As a result of her disorder, Emma was unable to raise her own arms. Eating, drawing, and Big Huggies we all, literally, beyond the reach of the feisty little girl.
Prosthetic assistance is available for AMC sufferers, such as the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton, buy thus far these have been large, metal contraptions unsuitable for a two-year old. Enter the wonders of 3D scanning and printing!
Utilizing a Dimension 3D printer from Stratasys, a smaller, lighter exoskeleton custom fit for Emma’s tiny frame was created. Emma’s new ‘Magic Arms’ as she called them was printed from ABS plastic parts that snap together and supported with rubber tension bands. This new prosthetic support allowed her reach out and cause the mischief she’s always dreamed of. The custom parts used are easily replaced from existing designs. When the latest growth spurt kicks in, the creation of an upscaled version of the apparatus is… well, child’s play.