Young Sydney Kendal had her life impacted at the age of six when she lost her right arm in a boating accident. This was a traumatic time for both her and her family, Sydney had to learn to write with her left hand and found normal everyday day tasks a serious challenge. She was fitted with a prosthetic arm, but it was of no real help causing more difficulties than it did help.

Today prosthetics do not come cheap and are very expensive, and the problem with fitting a child with one is that they keep growing until adulthood and that means countless prosthetics are needed. The challenge of creating a prosthetic for Sydney was taken on by three senior students from the WUSTL School of Engineering & Applied Science.

The three students heard of Sydney’s injury and were moved by compassion into finding an affordable solution to her situation. The three students were able to create a pink prosthetic arm by using a 3d printer. The total cost of the project was a mere $200 in comparison to the cost of a standard prosthetics  that can easily cost in excess of $6,000.


Sydney’s life has been impacted and improved by the bridging of technology and medicine, this case has shown the real possibilities that 3d printing technology possesses in changing and improving peoples standards of living. Sydney is now able to throw a ball, pick up her toys using both hands, and she is now able to move a computer mouse all these things are simple tasks, tasks that in the past would have been impossible for Sydney.

The three students who created this prosthetic used all their own engineering expertise and met the need of this child. The battery powered prosthetic is controlled by an accelerometer which Sydney can operate and control her movements. What’s astounding is that a 3d printer can be picked up for around $2000 and has the ability to create an affordable prosthetic which can change lives and that’s a technology that needs to be explored further and pushed to its limit’s.