Apr. 21, 2015 | By Simon
Along with a host of other medical breakthroughs, the ability to create 3D printed prosthetics is among one of the most remarkable applications for additive manufacturing technologies that we’ve seen yet. In addition to creating custom-tailored solutions that can feature colors and even sensors depending on what a wearer desires, the low-cost nature of 3D printing allows those in need of the prosthetic to replace them over the years as needed - something that was previously a costly necessity for many who rely on the arms to enable them to complete tasks on a day-to-day basis.
But in addition to the already-amazing ability to create the prosthetics, one of the better parts of the growing industry of 3D printed prosthetics is how celebrities and other idols are stepping in to present them to the wearers - oftentimes in costume or in character. Previously, we’ve seen an ensemble of Star Wars troopers present a Star Wars-inspired prosthetic arm to a young boy as well as a very special presentation from actor Robert Downey Jr. who presented an Iron Man-inspired prosthetic as Tony Stark to a young Iron Man fan. Now, musical performance act Blue Man Group have joined the ‘giving club’ and recently presented a prosthetic arm to one of their young fans.
Working with Limbitless Solutions - the same organization that famously presented a 3D printed arm to 6-year old Alex Pring along with actor Robert Downey Jr. - Blue Man Group presented 12-year old Wyatt Falardrau with a Blue Man Group-themed prosthetic arm before inviting him onto their stage to play with all of their live equipment.
Wyatt, who was born without a right arm and was autism just four years later, had seen the presentation of Alex Pring’s Iron Man-themed arm and soon after no longer thought of a prosthetic arm as a “prosthetic arm” but rather, a “bionic arm”. Previously, Wyatt had the chance to try on different artificial limbs, however none of them interested him and he learned to go about his day-to-day activities with just a single arm - that is, until he saw the bionic arm like Pring had.
“He was the one who convinced my husband and me that he needed to get a bionic limb,” said Wyatt’s mother Cynthia.
Soon after, Cynthia and her husband Jim were able to get in contact with Limbitless and learned that their son was an ideal candidate for receiving one of their arms - something remarkable considering the huge amount of requests that the organization has received.
The organization, along with their partnership with Blue Man Group and The Collective Project from Microsoft, created a custom-designed 3D printed bionic arm for Wyatt that was decorated with the same blue paint used by the musical group - which happens to be Wyatt’s favorite.
The delivery took place at a surprise event on April 3rd at Universal Studios Orlando where the Blue Men Group presented Wyatt with his new bionic arm. In addition to receiving the arm, the group gave Wyatt a personal backstage tour, time to play on the musical instruments and show effects, lunch with the group members and finally, a chance to take in a Blue Man Group show.
While Wyatt was certainly blessed to take home a customized bionic arm that was themed after his favorite group, he wasn’t the only one to go home that night feeling great about the experience.
“Too often, we get caught up in our first-world problems,” said Wes Day, leader of the Blue Man Group.
“To see Wyatt have that attitude he has with some of the problems he has, these are people with real problems. He puts things into perspective for you.”
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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