The stories we love to hear most about 3D printing are the ones where a person’s life is affected, changed, and improved for the better. Where normal medical services fail and offer no hope, 3D printing can now be used, medial professionals are taking control, and offering hope where once there was none.
To a child, everyday playing should be a normal thing. The ability to pick up toys, throw balls, and write with pencils are all something most kids can do with relative ease. But, for one young 4-year-old girl, named Hannah Mohn, this was not the case.
Unfortunately, young Hannah was born with a muscular disease called arthrogryposis, this muscular disease makes her joints curve and the muscles extremely weak.
In the case with Hannah, she is unable to lift both arms and hands up without support from another person. It was a shock to her parents, especially her mother, who was told after five months of pregnancy that there were issues concerning their child.
Hannah’s parents were told by specialist that they didn’t believe Hannah would survive birth, and if she did that it would be a long and difficult road ahead for her.
Hannah’s parents were told they needed to focus on promoting and encouraging Hannah from a very young age to use her hands and arms as much as possible. This would allow Hannah to care for herself as she got older; even if her legs did not work properly she could use a wheelchair as an aid. But, the priority was for Hannah to build strength in her arms and hands continuously.
At the age of 18 months, Hannah’s life took a turn for the better, after a visit to the Dupont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. Specialists at the hospital helped Hannah with a device called the WREX (Wilmington Robotic EXoskeleton). It is a set of robotic arms and all the parts are made from a 3D printer.
The exo skeleton WREX helps strengthen Hannah’s arms and joints opening up a future for her without limitations. The 3D printed robotic arms are another amazing example of the capabilities 3D printing possesses. The doctor states the previous methods took him up to nine months, but now with this technology it takes less than two days.
Again, another life, another family has been offered a renewed hope. Hannah now has a real future ahead of her. A life of a greater quality and a positive future all thanks to 3D printing.