Andrew Wheeler from 3D Printing Industry
The most memorable moments of childhood are often the simplest of pleasures, like riding a bike or drawing a picture. When Faith Lennox’s arm was amputated below the elbow at 9 months old, simple pleasures became a lot more challenging. But, some people thrive on pushing against the odds, and Faith Lennox is certainly one of those people.
On March 31st in Lakewood California, Nicole and Greg Lennox said their daughter, 7-year-old Faith, couldn’t sleep in expectation of trying on her new arm. Faith had a prosthetic arm and electronic hand when she was 3, but quickly grew out of it, which is a common occurrence with young amputees who are still growing. Insurance companies often have a hard time shelling out for an expensive prosthetic when they know it will only fit the child for a couple of years.
Faith has been doing her best for the last couple of years to get by without a prosthetic; she ties her own shoes, braids her own hair, and, like a true Californian, she surfs! But, her parents decided that Faith was overcompensating in her tremendously active lifestyle and that it was time for a new arm.
Faith’s parents were introduced to Build it Workspace, an open access 3D printing business connected to e-Nable. If you aren’t familiar with them, volunteer organization e-Nable teams up 3D printing companies with kids in need of prosthetic limbs. Engineers design CAD models of the limbs, which a local 3D printing company downloads and prints. Because of the generosity of e-Nable’s volunteers, what was once an expensive and time-consuming process has become quick and easy.
Faith’s self-styled prosthetic limb is a rainbow of her favorite colors – purple, blue, and pink – and only took a day to make and $50 to buy. Not bad.
Build it Workspace, in Los Alamitos California strives to provide affordable access to digital manufacturing technology, but on March 30, 2015 they provided so much more to one Los Alamitos Elementary School first-grader. What did Faith do first after she got her new arm? She rode a bicycle.