Limbitless Solutions

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Limbitless Solutions
Limbitless Solutions Logo
Formation 2014; 4 years ago (2014)
Type 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Purpose Develop open source 3D printed bionic solutions for children that are functional, affordable, and easy to manufacture.
Headquarters Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Website limbitless-solutions.org

Limbitless Solutions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in the United States that uses additive manufacturing (3D printing) to advance affordable personalized bionics and prosthetic partial arms for children with disabilities.[1] The organization claims their limbitless’ bionic arms are manufactured for under $400, 1% of traditional prostheses.[2] Headquartered in Orlando, Florida,[3] the organization was founded by a team of University of Central Florida engineering students, led by executive director Albert Manero.[4]

History[edit]

As University of Central Florida engineering students, the Limbitless Solutions team began the first project at the university campus manufacturing lab in 2014. The organization used a donated Stratasys Dimension 3D Printer and other supplies to create an affordable prosthetic, to minimize cost and time of traditional manufacturing processes like CNC milling.[5][6] Built in the student's free time, their first arm used a 3D printer running with off-the-shelf servos and batteries that were activated by the electromyography muscle energy on a child’s limb.[7] Most prosthetic arms are mechanical, which presents a challenge for children without elbows. With mechanical arms, the child opens and closes their hand by bending their elbow. The students came up with the idea for an electronic arm with a muscle sensor that allows the child to open and close their hand by flexing their biceps.[6]

Production[edit]

When producing a prosthesis, the child is measured (size of residual limb, length of limb, etc.) and the model of the arm is then appropriately scaled and adjusted before being printed, assembled, and fitted. Electromyography (EMG) sensors are calibrated before the arm is ready for use.[8] The time to fabricate one bionic arm ranges depending on several factors, the most influential being the type of amputation. The time to build a helper hand is 4–6 weeks, and a bionic arm without an elbow is 8–12 weeks. In addition to partial arms, Limbitless has said it has plans to make full arms with elbows as well as legs.

Recipients[edit]

Children who have been given prosthetics from Limbitless Solutions include a 7-year-old boy who received a 3D printed Iron Man themed arm, presented by actor Robert Downey Jr.,[9] (facilitated by Microsoft’s The Collective Project)[10] a Nine-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska who was given Star Wars themed arm prosthesis presented by Darth Vader,[11] and a twelve-year-old from Vero Beach, Florida who was the recipient of a bionic arm presented by the Blue Man Group at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.[12][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Our Limitless Mission Our Limitless Mission
  2. ^ Huffington Post Huffington Post
  3. ^ Florida Department of State Division of Corporations Florida Department of State Division of Corporations
  4. ^ Kid-Approved How one prosthetic arm is changing many lives Kid-Approved How one prosthetic arm is changing many lives
  5. ^ Stratasys, 3d printed prosthetic arm Stratasys, 3d printed prosthetic arm
  6. ^ a b CNN, UCF 3D printed arms for kids CNN, UCF 3D printed arms for kids
  7. ^ UCF, Fulfilling 6 years olds dream ucf students design build arm UCF, Fulfilling 6 years olds dream ucf students design build arm
  8. ^ What is the general process of making an arm FAQ Limbitless Archived 2015-04-21 at the Wayback Machine. What is the general process of making an arm FAQ Limbitless
  9. ^ CNET, Robert downey jr gives 7 year old 3d printed iron man arm CNET, Robert downey jr gives 7 year old 3d printed iron man arm
  10. ^ LA Times, la et mg Robert downey jr iron man robotic arm boy LA Times, la et mg Robert downey jr iron man robotic arm boy
  11. ^ UCF, darth vader helps fulfill childs dream delivers bionic arm to 9 year old UCF, darth vader helps fulfill childs dream delivers bionic arm to 9 year old
  12. ^ Huffington Post, blue man group 3d printed robotic arm Huffington Post, blue man group 3d printed robotic arm
  13. ^ WPTV, vero beach child gets blue man group arm created with the help of a 3d printer WPTV, vero beach child gets blue man group arm created with the help of a 3d printer

External links[edit]