It’s not unusual to see how 3D printing is being used to help kids who have disabilities. Children with prosthetic limbs are especially difficult because they out grow them so quickly. A prosthetic arm that has been designed for a six year old might not fit by the time they are seven, and these frequent purchases can be expensive, limiting the number of prosthetics a child may be able to afford. KIDmob, a non-profit, “kid integrated design firm” is partnering with Autodesk, the CAD company to create the Superhero Cyborgs Project. The goal of the project i s to help children with upper arm disabilities to not only have a new prosthetic that is primarily designed for their entertainment. But the goal is also to help them stop thinking about their arm as something to be ashamed of, and instead to see it as an opportunity to have something unique and special about themselves, much like a comic book superhero.
So instead of asking the children to help with something that might make their life harder, each kid was brought in with the idea that instead of having just another prosthetic hand, they could create virtually anything else they can imagine. The kids would then work alongside designers and engineering professionals inside of Autodesk renowned Pier 9 studio. Throughout the 5 day workshop, the children are given a crash course in 3D design, 3D scanning and 3D printing, which they would use to help create their own 3D printed prosthetic attachments. This is another way in which 3D printing is truly helping to inspire innovation in the world, and help making some kids lives a little easier, and maybe a little more fun. You can see a video from Superhero Cyborgs 2.0 below.