Although she was born with a congenital disorder that made it impossible to lift her arms on her own, Emma Lavelle is now able to play, learn and interact with her surroundings like other children thanks to 3D printing technology developed by Minnesota’s own Stratasys.
Emma is now four years old, and with the help of her Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX) she’s able to live and grow with a sense of normalcy that her family once feared she would be unable to experience.
You can see the video about Emma and her “magic arms” below; the contraption that enriched her life was made with a Dimension 3D Printer produced by Stratasys, designed in collaboration with Alfred I. DuPont hospital near Philadelphia.
Founded in 1991 by Scott Crump and his wife Lisa, Stratasys employs over 500 people and is publicly traded with a market cap over $1b. Throughout the past decade, Stratasys’ 3D printing has touched industries such as medical, aerospace, automotive, education and – most recently – consumer products.
While the company’s 3D printing technology has been used over the years largely for prototype models and used parts in manufacturing and industrial areas, application is continually branching out in new directions. Stratasys is highlighting those directions on their Facebook page throughout this month by sharing innovative ways that doctors, engineers and educators are utilizing the increasingly popular technology.
Emma’s story is one of the most heart-warming cases of 3D printing in application, but there are plenty of other interesting examples. For instance, the technology was used to digitally build parts for a NASA rover called Desert RATS (Research and Technology Studies), which is being prototyped as a means for human exploration on the surface of Mars.