3D printer shares designs for prosthetic arms online - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

3D printer shares designs for prosthetic arms online

(Source: NBC) (Source: NBC)
(KAIT/NBC) -

A group is using 3D printers and their own volunteer time to make a difference, by making arms. 

Every other Monday, a group of men led by Jack Buchanan meet to use 3D printing to make prosthetic arms.

Buchanan creates the designs and shares them with other makers online through a site called "E-nable." 

People around the world can build and share models for 3D-printed prosthetics. The design is sent to a 3D printer like the one Buchanan's team uses.

The custom designs are cheaper, faster and simpler than a traditional prosthetic. They can go from a kid in Kansas City to a clinic in Kosovo. 

"When you're building a prosthetic, you've got all that cool build part, but you've got that reward payoff.  Oh my gosh, we really made a difference for somebody," said Buchanan.

3D printed prosthetic arms are much simpler than the ones made professionally that have lots of scientific features, but they are cheaper.

Buchanan's team said the materials for each arm cost about $50 and take about 40 hours to complete.

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