Additive Manufacturing Collaboration Brings 3D-Printed Arms to Kids Worldwide

By MedTech Intelligence Staff

The University of Central Florida and Limbitless Solutions partner to develop the technology and move it into commercialization.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) and Limbitless Solutions are partnering to create a global source for 3D-printed limbs for children, forming the Center for Applied Biomedical Additive Manufacturing (CABAM). The center will establish an interdisciplinary research facility to promote innovation in 3D printing and bring together engineers, scientists, and doctors in the field.

“We already have Maker Space laboratories where 3D printing innovations are happening. We have an established nucleus of faculty performing cutting-edge biomedical engineering research, says Michael Georgiopoulos, dean of UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. “We have an army of talented engineering students who are passionate about helping others. And we have resources to help entrepreneurs take their innovations to market.” UCF’s Venture Accelerator and the Office of Technology Transfer will assist in moving the new technologies into commercialization.

Founded less than a year ago, Limbitless Solutions was started by Albert Manero, a UCF doctoral student and a group of volunteer students. In the UCF engineering lab, the team created a 3D-printed arm for a six-year-old in less than two months using off-the-shelf servos and a 3D printer. They spent just $350 and have since received requests from more than 40 countries after posting instructions on how to create the arm online.

CABAM will create a space in which faculty, students and other experts can work together to continue its innovation path. “No family should have to pay for their child to have a bionic arm,” says Manero. “Together we can make a difference. I invite companies, individuals, organizations and your community to join us as we move forward to help change the world.”

Earlier this month, Limbitless Solutions collaborated with Blue Man Group to deliver an arm to a 12-year-old who is a huge fan of the performers. Captured in a YouTube video, Blue Man Group presents the arm, the design of which is inspired by their characteristic blue and neon paint splashes, to Wyatt Falardeau.

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