Feelings! Feelings! Feelings!
6-year-old Alex Pring was born with a limb deficiency that left him without the lower part of his right arm…
And while he fought for a normal kid's life of playing sports and climbing outside — he knew the possibilities of him actually doing those things were slim to none.
That is, until the University of Central Florida gifted Alex with a 3D-printed prosthetic limb that's capable of reading muscle movements from the upper arm for functionality.
UCF engineering doctoral student Albert Manero got in touch with Alex’s family through an online network for 3D fanatics, students and inventors — to create the perfect prosthetic for this youngster.
Before, it was very hard to gather materials small enough for a functioning prototype for someone so little.
But the team was successful in designing and executing, as Manero described in a statement. He revealed that Alex took to the arm immediately, and did something very special when it finally started working:
"He learned pretty fast. The first thing he did when he could actually control it a little bit was hug his mother. He said it was their first real hug. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room."
Alex's mother, Alyson Pring, described the embrace, as well:
“When he hugged me with two hands, he just didn’t let go. It was amazing. I think this arm will reinforce our ‘you can do anything you set your mind to’ attitude. I think it will help his confidence, so he can see future possibilities and make them seem all the more reachable for him."
Gah, emotions everywhere!
The affordable $350 child-size prosthetic arm's blueprint will reportedly be uploaded to the web for open access to anyone with a 3D printer. Yay!
Now all teeny kiddos can get these special prosthetic limbs for feasible prices.
Ch-ch-check out Alex's excellent progress and the iconic hug (above!)
Tags: 3d arm, 3d printing, Albert Manero, alex, alex Pring, bionic arm, embrace, hug, kids, miracles, Stratasys