3D printing is quickly proving that it will revolutionize the world of prosthetic limbs. Now we have one more inspiring story of a teen that has used the technology to make prosthetics cheaper and more accessible.
Easton LaChappelle, a 17-year-old from Colorado, has made a prosthetic arm with a 3D printer and some simple electronics for only $500. The benefits of these cheap prosthetics are immediately apparent as replacement prosthetic limbs currently tens of thousands of dollars when ordered from medical companies. Even better, the arm can be controlled by an EGG headband so users will be able to somewhat interact with the environment.
Here’s a TEDx Talk with LaChappelle where he talks about his 3D printed prosthetic arm:
Previous forays into 3D printed prosthetics have produced some amazing results, including the open source robohand, but LaChappelle’s design may be the most technically brilliant 3D printed prosthetic yet. It may not be directly integrated into the nerves, but his prosthetic could still provide cheap, yet advanced, prosthetics to amputees in low income areas around the world.