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University students create prosthetic arm from 3-D printer

January 3, 2015

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — University of Central Florida researchers are helping children around the world through their development of a prosthetic arm using a 3-D printer.

The Orlando Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1BtPW37 ) reported on Saturday that the researchers have had a massive response from around the world since their work was publicized in newspapers and on television in July.

They first created a bionic arm for a 6-year-old Florida boy named Alex Pring. Because of their success helping Alex, the researchers have gotten requests to help children from as far away as Pakistan and Brazil.

They have teamed with engineers at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Southern California to expand the program and are developing similar arms for two children in the United States and someone in the Czech Republic.

The arm costs about $300 to make using 3-D printed plastic and motors and batteries that can be found at many stores.

One recent recipient of a new arm is 7-year-old Madelyn Rebsamen of Lynchburg, Va., who was borm without her left arm below the elbow. UCF researchers made the 10-hour drive before Thanksgiving to deliver her new arm in person.

Researchers Dominque Courbin said the girl broke into giggles when she held her mother’s hands for the first time and later used the arm on the playground.

Curbin said children are ideal for the research.

“If the child does want something, there is no way we’re capable of saying no,” she said.

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Information from: Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com

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