Scientific development is awesome. Here I sit in front of a cube full of plastic and other materials, and as soon as I hit ‘publish’, people around the world can read everything I’ve written. Heck, in this very moment, a tiny square device is in my pocket with functions of various gadget that used to fill an entire room.
There is one particular scientific development I follow in particular: 3D printed prosthesis. I’m a born amputee myself, so I know how expensive and unsatisfactory a standard prosthesis can be. 3D printing is, in my opinion, the best thing since sliced bread and it does restore my faith in humanity to know that there are many volunteers, engineers, and professional designers that offer their time, resources, and help to design and print inexpensive prosthesis for others, especially children. There are several organisations and groups out there, such as E-nable, The Open Hand Project and The Collective Project, that provide open-source schematics for free.
Of course they don’t create just any prosthesis, they create unique geeky prosthesis that would make any superhero jealous! Recently, a 7-year-old boy named Alex received a prosthesis that would make even those with two hands jealous! In collaboration with Albert Manero, OneNote, and The Collective Project, Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr. who stayed in character the entire time, visited Alex and gave him an awesome Iron Man-inspired prosthesis.
But Alex isn’t the only lucky kid. Recently, another 7-year-old boy received a Star Wars-inspired prosthesis. Liam, born without his left arm below the elbow and a huge Star Wars fan, was greeted by Stormtroopers and other beings from a galaxy far, far away at his local movie theatre when John Peterson, creator of that awesome Star Wars-inspired prosthesis, presented Liam with the geeky surprise.
Just look at Liam’s and Alex’s happy faces! LOOK. AT. THEM! I’m not crying, you’re crying!
There are countless other examples where volunteers, engineers, and professional designers created unique and amazing prosthesis to make children happy. If you happen to own a 3D printer or know someone with one, you can help too!
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