Feb.7, 2015 | By Simon

It’s no secret that e-NABLE, the company that helps connect designers, engineers and makers with young children in need of a low-cost prosthesis, are among one of the better feel-good stories that have come out of the additive manufacturing space.  Among other 3D printed prosthetic arm and hand designs that have come out of the community include those that themed around Super Heroes and sci-fi favorites including Star Wars.  

Just last week, six young Super Heroes in Dallas, Texas, USA had the opportunity to sit down with members of the e-NABLE team and cast members of the Marvel Universe LIVE! show to create their own prosthetic devices on-the-spot.  The children, Hudson, Miah, Abby, Jax, Jackson, and Kinley, were able to watch their Super Hero hand become fabricated on an on-location 3D printer before assembling it themselves with the help from the e-NABLE team and Marvel Universe LIVE! crew.      

While the event was a great opportunity to bring together all of the Super Heroes, it was also a great opportunity for the Marvel Universe LIVE! crew to see first-hand just how much of an impact 3D printing is having on helping change the future of prosthetics both in the ability to print at a low cost as well as for the ability for a young child to customize their prosthetic to become the Super Hero of their choice.  

“It’s amazing to be apart of history. Not only do I feel privileged to help the kids build their own one of a kind hand, but it’s an honor to see technology at its best!”  Said Romeo, who plays “Nick Fury” in the live show.

“Getting to be a part of something bigger than yourself is such a humbling experience, especially when you get to work with kids…my experience was amazing.” added Chelsea, who plays the role of “Storm”.

Although the event was centered around assembling 3D printed prosthetic devices, the amount of fun and games - not to mention the Super Hero theme - made it look more like an amazing birthday party.

“From the moment we walked in to meet all of the associates who had gathered to host this life changing event, the entirety of our cast and crew had nothing but smiles from one side of their cheeks to the other,” said Vincent, who play the “Green Goblin”.

“We were shown some of the hands we would be assembling that day, and each one was unique in its own way…each and every hand had a personality, just as the children who walked through the door that day.”

Rather than dwelling on their disabilities, the children were quick to “upgrade” their existing Super Hero status with their new 3D printed prosthetics and put them into action quickly; running around and having a blast with the other “Super Heroes” with fake punches, laser beams and other special effects that can only come from a Super Hero hand.    

Perhaps the most important part about the event though was that it showed how easy it is to solve a problem that for decades was an expensive and oftentimes cumbersome experience for kids.  Only a few years ago, if one were to say that they were attending a ‘prosthetic-building party with a bunch of Super Heroes” they might have looked at you like you were crazy.  Today, with 3D printing being more accessible than ever, that is no longer the case.  


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

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