3-D Printing And Prosthetic Arms


Seeing a child with broken limbs and lifeless eyes can be heart wrenching. This is what happened to Daniel. He is a 12-year-old Sudanese boy who lost both of his arms during an aerial attack. He tried protecting himself from a bomb explosion by wrapping his arms around a tree. His body was shielded from the bomb explosion, but both his arms were blown off. Daniel is just one of the many kids who lost their limbs due to Sudanese Government’s bombing raids.

Mick Ebeling, upon hearing Daniel’s story, felt the need to reach out and help these kids. Mick is the founder of Not Impossible Labs and The Ebeling Group. Recently, he learned about low-cost, 3-D printed prosthetic hand. The inventor is Richard Van As. Mick thought that it would be great if they can bring the 3-D printers in Sudan and helps kids like Daniel who lost their upper limbs. It was a daunting task since Mick does not have any inkling about 3-D printing and prosthetics. However, the urge to help Daniel made the project possible. Mick surrounded himself with experts. He absorbed all what they have to share and learned along the way. Mick learned 3-D printing and creating prosthetic arms.

It was in October 2013, Mick flew to Sudan to start with project Daniel. The meeting was a bit awkward since Daniel was rather aloof. However, everything changed as days passed. Mick was working closely with Daniel. Days passed and finally a prosthetic arm was ready to be fitted on Daniel. At first, Daniel was able to manipulate his hand to his mouth. Gripping objects with his fingers will take a little more time. Daniel was not strong enough to manipulate the prosthetic fingers. Nevertheless, with practice he can overcome such obstacle. After many years, it was a happy sight to finally see Daniel himself again. Now, the boy was able to smile again.