Add Stormtrooper to the growing list of comic book-inspired, 3D-printed prosthetics.
In recent months, we’ve come across quite a few miraculous and heartwarming 3D printing stories. And, it looks like that momentum is carrying on into 2015. The Maker Movement has now given a seven-year-old boy, who was born without part of his left arm, a pretty amazing 3D-printed Clone Trooper prosthetic.
First reported by the Augusta Chronicle, Liam received his new limb as part of an international effort to harness new DIY tech to help those requiring prosthetics they otherwise couldn’t obtain. While commercial pieces can cost upwards of $40,000, more affordable options have been made available thanks to recent advancements in 3D printing. In addition to that, many insurance companies do not cover costly prostheses for children because they will quickly outgrow them; subsequently, 3DPs are a practical and feasible alternative.
After learning about E-Nable, a group of volunteers who print prosthetic parts for kids, Maker John Peterson decided to put his skills and acquired printer to go use by crafting a Star Wars-esque arm for the boy. It took the Maker nearly three months to create Liam’s new limb — for only $300.
A huge fan of the flick, Liam had spotted Imperial Stormtroopers marching toward him after leaving a Georgia movie theater. What he didn’t know was that the troopers were there to surprise him with a new 3D-printed prosthetic arm, which was paired with a Clone Trooper helmet and an invitation to join the 501st Legion.
Once Liam inserted it onto his left elbow, he was able to flex the fist and hold a cup. You’ll want to watch the entire surprise below!