Posted by: Jim on: 08/06/2012 06:02 PM [ Print |
Emma who was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), a rare congenital disorder that effects the joints and can include muscle weakness and fibrosis, wanted to play blocks. After spending most of her first two years of life in a cast, this small dream seemed unlikely.
However, Emma's mom saw a presentation of a system called WREX (Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton)by Tariq Rahman, Ph.D, head of pediatric engineering and research, and Whitney Sample, research designer from Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware and asked them to look into her case.
Using a Stratasys Dimension SST 1200 researchers at a Delaware hospital 3D printed a custom exoskeleton with the tiny, lightweight parts she needed.
The exoskeleton has proven easily light weight enough for Emma's small frame to support and durable enough to with stand a child's use. However, if a part does break, Emma's mom can simply email a photo of the broken part and the doctors can reprint the part on the spot.
Overtime, as Emma grows, the parts can easily be retooled to meet her needs by simply changing the cad design and printing an updated piece.
If this doesn't warm your heart, I have no idea what will.