Life in 3D

Today in Tearjerkers: 3D Printer Builds Device That Helps Partially Paralyzed Child Move Her Arms

And she calls them "magic arms!"
picture 11 Today in Tearjerkers: 3D Printer Builds Device That Helps Partially Paralyzed Child Move Her Arms

(Photo: YouTube)

Feeling like you could use a good cry? It’s okay, we all need one sometimes.

3D printing company Stratasys developed a Dimension 3D printer that can print a custom robotic device that improved the range of motion for a little girl. The 4-year-old, Emma Lavelle, has a congenital disease that keeps her from being able to move her arms. By using a 3D printer, doctors were able to develop a custom robotic exoskeleton that fit her tiny frame.

Go ahead, let it out. There, there.

It’s encouraging to know that 3D printers can be used for things other than building weapons and manufacturing illegal drugs. If they can help little kids the way Stratasys helped Ms. Lavelle, maybe we aren’t so terrified by 3D printing’s implications, after all.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com