Mar 17, 2016 | By Tess

Limbitless Solutions, the University of Central Florida non-profit organization that teamed up with Robert Downey Jr. to give a young boy a 3D printed Iron Man bionic arm this time last year, has now changed the life of Julianna Lindon, a ten-year-old cheerleader from Houston, Texas.

Lindon, who was born with no left arm below the elbow because of a congenital amputation, was pleasantly surprised to receive a 3D printed bionic arm from Limbitless Solutions upon a visit to the UCF campus with her family. Though the young girl has not let her disability prevent her from partaking in competitive cheerleading, the bionic arm was welcomed warmly by both her and her family.

The young cheerleader is the 15th child to have received a 3D printed bionic arm from Limbitless Solutions, a UCF student run organization founded by Albert Manero, a PhD student of aerospace engineering at the university. The organization operates on the principle that no family should have to pay for their disabled child’s prosthetic arm, and the student innovators behind the project have taken it upon themselves to make this idea a reality. By combining their various design, engineering, and 3D printing skills, the students behind Limbitless have consistently brought smiles to the families they help.

“We want children to know, especially girls, that there are no limits,” said Manero in an interview. “We want them to dream big and then go after it. That’s really important. You can be smart, beautiful and strong and do it all here at UCF.”

The money to pay for the bionic arm, a total of $400, was raised in a single day by Topper’s Creamery, an on campus business that donated its profits for the good cause. Manero explains, “As a nonprofit we rely on the community to be able to continue our work. There is such a big need. We had no idea when we started what kind of need exists. We want to help as many children as possible so they can grow up and know there are no limits.” The ice cream shop is reportedly planning on sponsoring a child for Limbitless Solutions every month.

Julianna Lindon was presented with the 3D printed bionic arm by UCF’s mascot Knightro as well as the cheerleading team and its head coach Linda Gooch. The squad also brought the pre-teen on a tour of the university’s campus, showing her the various faculties the school offers. Once Lindon got used to the bionic arm, she got right back to what she loves: cheerleading, as the UCF cheerleading team hosted a clinic especially for her. “My favorite part was getting the arm today,” said Lindon. “I think It will help me with my cheering. I love to fly.”

The Limbitless team was also present, helping Julianna get fit into the prosthetic and watching her cartwheel and flip around the field. Also standing by were Julianna’s proud parents and sister, who themselves were inspired by the day’s events. “If there are 10,000 things someone with two arms can do, Julianna can already do 9,900,” said Julianna’s father Clark Linton. “We’ve always focused on what she can do, not what she can’t. I think this new arm will give her the opportunity to do even more. The technology is advancing so rapidly, Julianna has a chance to grow with the technology that may help her later on in life and won’t limit her career opportunities.”

As Limbitless Solutions continues to bring joy to families in need, we continue to be inspired by the volunteer-run organization as it uses our favorite technology, 3D printing, for good. We can’t wait to hear who they help next.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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