A 3D Printer Designed to Create “Magic Arms”

August 6, 2012

To many of us in the design industry, 3D printers are commonly accepted and used in many ways. The ability to quickly print objects to test size, ergonomics, etc. has aided in the progression of our field. To many people, these “printers that print 3D objects” are still mythical. However, they are becoming increasingly mainstream with increased technology and the introduction of printers like the MakerBot that has dramatically lowered the entry price of an at-home 3D printer.

The video below tells an inspirational story about how 3D printers are being used in amazing ways and how the people benefiting from them may never know life without them. The Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX), the 3D printer in this story, is designed to help people with underdeveloped muscles in their arms. Emma, a girl born with a rare congenital disease known as anthrogryposis, has been using parts from a 3D printer before she could even talk. Rapid prototyping allows the WREX to scale parts as she grows, with each individual piece being customizable and resizeable. You can read more about the WREX here. Watch the video below and see what Emma calls her “magic arms”.

Written by: Trevis Kurz, Industrial Designer

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