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3D printer makes magical WREX arms for children with rare disease

By Nancy Houser     Aug 5, 2012 in Science
A 2-year-old-girl diagnosed with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), a rare disease that cripples joints and limbs, is now able to use her hands. The newly-designed WREX jacket helps her lift her arms and hands to eat or hug someone.
Designed by engineers Tariq Rahman and Whitney Sample of the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, the durable exoskeleton jacket is manufactured from a 3D printer. Also called rapid prototyping, the additive technology of 3D printing is a manufacturing method invented in the mid-1990s.
"The device enables kids with underdeveloped arms to play, feed themselves and hug, according to Stratasys, the 3D printing company that helped produce Emma's personalized WREX. Because Emma only weighs 25lbs, a special, light weight WREX was made for her with a 3D printer, reports Mail Online."
Numerous organizations have adopted the 3D process for concept models and functional prototypes, newly revolutionizing the world of manufacturing. According to Mashable, the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX) jacket is made of hinged metal bars, resistance bands and tiny 3D printed parts.
Two-year-old Emma was the first child diagnosed with AMC to wear the WREX jacket, calling it her “magic arms.” The WREX jacket is an "assistive device made of hinged metal bars and resistance bands that enables people with underdeveloped arms to play and feed themselves." Emma is now wearing her second WREX, after she outgrew the first one, according to Huffington Post.
More about 3D Printer, Designs, magical arms, Children, Rare disease