A 3D Printed Arm
Tyler Koslow from 3D Printing Industry
It’s no secret that 3D printing is a terrific tool for the production of prosthetics, but one non-profit organization from Central Florida, named Limbitless Solutions, is taking 3D printed prosthetics to the next level by creating personalized bionics. Limbitless Solutions, I’m proud to say, is a student group based out of my alma mater, the University of Central Florida. They’ve helped kids become superheroes with their 3D printed bionic arms, and have even found their work on the 2016 New York Fashion Week runway. Now, the non-profit group has created a 3D printed bionic arm for ten-year-old Julianna Linton, an avid cheerleader who had lost her left arm above the elbow because of a congenital amputation caused by the unfortunate amniotic band syndrome.
Julianna is now the 15th child to receive a 3D printed bionic arm from Limbitless Solutions, who provides these personalized prosthetics to the children at no cost. The group was founded by aerospace engineering student Albert Manero, who is currently pursuing his PhD at UCF. The 3D printed bionic arm is designed with the UCF logo and colors in tact, making it more than just a bionic prosthetic, but also a part of her cheerleader uniform.
After Julianna practiced with her bionic arm for the first time, she had a cheer clinic put on for her at the Bright House Networks Stadium. Julianna was also given a tour of the UCF campus with the university’s cheerleading squad, led by coach Linda Gooch. Upon receiving the arm, Julianna proceeded to perform 20 cartwheels in front of a cheerful, supportive crowd. Her parents, Clark and Kathleen Linton, seem to think that this is just the beginning of a improved life for their daughter.
“If there are 10,000 things someone with two arms can do, Julianna can already do 9,900,” said Clark Linton. “We’ve always focused on what she can do, not what she can’t. I think this new arm will give her the opportunity to do even more. The technology is advancing so rapidly, Julianna has a chance to grow with the technology that may help her later on in life and won’t limit her career opportunities.”
Limbitless Solutions is pushing the message that Julianna, and other girls and boys with similar disabilities, truly have no limit to what they can accomplish. Their 3D printed bionic arm prosthetics have not only provided a handful of children with an adequate assistive device, but have made them the center of attention in the most positive way possible.
“We want children to know, especially girls, that there are no limits,” said Manero. “We want them to dream big and then go after it. That’s really important. You can be smart, beautiful and strong and do it all here at UCF.” I’ll admit I haven’t felt much school spirit since graduating back from UCF back in 2012, but Limbitless Solutions certainly makes me feel proud to be a Knight!