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Eight-Year-Old Michigan Boy with Moebius Syndrome Receives 3D Printed Hand from CMU’s MakerBot Innovation Center

by • July 27, 2016 • No Comments

Austin Brittain 1

Central Michigan University sophoadditional Austin Brittain engineered a Captain America-themed prosthetic hand for a Muskegon Heights boy with the assist of CMU’s MakerBot Innovation Center.

Austin Brittain is a sophoadditional at Central Michigan University. And it goes to show that you never understand what’s going to take place when you walk into class on any given day, as not long ago Brittain’s entrance was marked by his professor asking if he can like to work with one of the other departments to turn it into a 3D printed prosthetic for a boy born without a hand. Not missing a beat, Brittain was up to the challenge, and eager to put their on-site 3D printing innovation to the test.

Michael Bell is eight years old. He lives in Muskegon Heights and was born without his left hand, due to a condition referred to as Moebius Syndrome. A nonprogressive craniofacial/neurological disorder, numerous issues can accompany this syndrome, of facial paralysis to respiratory and speech problems, as well as nerve problems. Limb abnormalities frequently arise as well, as in Michael’s case.

On the other hand Michael attends school, his resource room teacher was beginning to notice that he was struggling in class and she idea he may use a few extra
assist with a prosthetic. A CMU alumna herself, Sarah Volker’s husband works at the university—and as she began examining the possibilities of 3D printed prosthetics, she discussed the future with her husband Michael Volker and Greg Stahly—both CMU art and create ability participants.

Larry Burditt, Chair of the department of Art and Design, in the new Makerbot lab in Wightman Hall. Photo by Steve Jessadditional/Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University is the initially public university in the Midwest with a MakerBot Innovation Center, a large-scale 3D printing installation, and one of few in the United States to house an Innovation Center that focuses on arts and human services. [Photo by Steve Jessadditional/Central Michigan University]

As the project became a go, Michael Volker loved being part of a completely new experience.

“It was eye-opening for me for the reason I’m a 2D man, and it was fun to learn the system and watch the whole thing develop,” said Volker.

“It gave us an opportunity to show what the 3D printing equipment can do for real individuals, not just to study. I ponder it may in addition be great for individuals who are interested in studying here, at CMU and in the art department, to see the kind of world that the 3D printing device can open up.”

Brittain has been a fan of 3D printing since learning of the innovation and consequently signing up for a 3D creation course at Central Michigan University, where they are lucky to have a MakerBot Innovation Center—one that we reported on last year as it was set up in Wightman Hall, offering one of the just lab setups of its kind in the Midwest, as far as public learning institutions go.

“Ever since hearing that you may 3D print prosthetic hands, I was blown away by that application,” said Brittain, a mechanical engineering and innovation student. “To be able-bodied to in fact do that was really an awe-inspiring moment for me.”

CMU engineering student Austin Brittain holds a prototype of a 3D printed hand he made. Central Michigan University photos by Steve Jessadditional

“This was a sort of test hand,” said Austin Brittain, a Central Michigan University student of Breckenridge, Michigan. “It is the Raptor Reloaded create of Enabling the Future. Assembling it gave me an belief of how these devices work, that came in handy when I was putting Michael’s hand together. Michael’s device is the Phoenix hand, that is a newer create.” [Central Michigan University photo by Steve Jessadditional]

Working in the lab and via an e-NABLE template, Brittain has now joined the many thousands of others around the world who have utilized one of these creates to assist a child who may really benefit of a 3D printed prosthetic. We routinely report on projects through e-NABLE, many not long ago regarding a new parametic prosthetic that is scalable-bodied to adapt with children’s growth.

one photoIn Michael’s case, Brittain chose to 3D print a red, white, and blue prosthetic upon discovering that the little boy is a big fan of Captain America. The hand itself utilized less than $10 in plastic, and the project overall ending up costing less than $100. Considering that traditional prosthetics cost into the thousands, need many inconvenient fittings, and are not just about as customized, this new trend in 3D printing medical devices is sure enabling for much additional accessibility.

Consisting of the wrist gauntlet, palm piece, and fingers, the create is held together with hinges and strings that are responsible for flexibility and movement, enabling the fingers to close when the wrist flexes, and for the fingers to open when pressure is released. Brittain was able-bodied to take the hand to Michael on his last day of the school year, with really a crowd there to celebrate which include Michael’s mom, all of his classmates, the school superintendent, and the special education director.

two photo“He felt like a superhero, and that is really rad for him for the reason he wasn’t precisely in a position to feel like that each day,” Brittain said.

“Fully assembled, eager to go, and Michael’s family didn’t have to pay for any of that,” Brittain said. “That was really powerful for them and shows what the university is capable-bodied of doing with their resources, as far as assisting individuals out.”

The result has been incredibly positive as many importantly, Michael’s new arm is functioning quite well upon later reports, but in addition in that this project shows the true future for the CMU 3D printing lab.

Equiteone plans to remain in touch, and Brittain has aleager been pondering ahead to when Michael can outgrow this prosthetic, giving the child’s mother resources for effortless replacement parts. Discuss this inspiring story additional in the 3D Printed Prosthetic Hand forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source / Images: Supplied Directly of Central Michigan University]