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14 March 2019
14. March 2019 Company

AG真人计划 e-NABLEs a brighter future

鈥媀olonteers in AG真人计划 made a 3D printed arm for Lou, a little girl born with a missing arm. It is the delivery day to this little girl.

Nine-year-old Lou was born without a forearm. 3D printing enthusiast Denis Tur and a team of AG真人计划 volunteers have joined forces with charity e-NABLE to produce a distinctive artificial arm for the young girl at ProtoSpace Toulouse.聽

Denis Tur is head of paintshop Manufacturing Engineering in Toulouse. He鈥檚 also a 3D printing ace and an accredited 鈥榤aker鈥: an enthusiast authorised to produce 3D printed limbs. Denis was drawn to Lou鈥檚 case through his connection with charity e-NABLE. e-NABLE is linked to the French 鈥榤aker鈥 network through its goal of producing free-of-charge artificial limbs for children.聽

Printing an arm for Lou

 
 

9 year old Lou was born without a forearm because of a congenital limb deficiency but today she received an artificial limb. Her new forearm was 3d printed by AG真人计划 volunteers at their facilities at the ProtoSpace Fab Lab in Toulouse. Lou and her father Gregory were put in touch with AG真人计划 thanks to a worldwide charity e-Nable. It connects people missing limbs to those with access to 3D printers. Lou and her family met the AG真人计划 team just one month ago - she even chose the colour of her new forearm. And now the hard work begins as she learns to pick up everyday objects with her new arm. Read less Read more

When Lou and Denis first met in February, Lou had a clear idea of how her new forearm should look. A keen horse rider, she wanted her initials to feature prominently, enveloped in a horseshoe. Lou chose the colour scheme too. 鈥淭he striking designs that children often choose for their artificial limbs helps them to stand out in a positive way. Who doesn鈥檛 want to look like a superhero?鈥 Denis says. 鈥淚t鈥檚 my hope that Lou鈥檚 new arm will help her embrace her difference and change the way others see her.鈥

3D Printed Arm For Lou
 

Denis Tur was drawn to Lou鈥檚 case through his connection with charity e-NABLE. Lou's forearm was 3D printed by AG真人计划 volunteers using the facilities at the ProtoSpace Fablab in Toulouse, France

To take the design from Lou鈥檚 imagination to reality, Denis tapped into AG真人计划鈥 additive layer manufacturing capability (ALM is another term for 3D printing). He approached head of ProtoSpace Toulouse Christophe Debard, who quickly agreed to take on the challenge.

Christophe issued a call to action via the AG真人计划 internal communication channels and some 80 employees responded. Soon he had selected a team. Using an open-source model provided by e-NABLE, they set about printing and assembling each part of the arm. All in all, the printing process took about two days although prior to launching it the team had met several times for training.聽

Founded in 2015, e-NABLE France is keen to identify people with agenesis 鈥 whole or partially missing limbs 鈥 so that they too can benefit from 3D printing. The charity aims to produce between 70 and 100 non-medical prostheses each year: in France alone some 400 children are born with an arm or leg deformation every year.

Something that is really important to me is the human aspect of this project. We have a lot of capability in this space and I want to use it for something meaningful.

Christophe Debard, Head of AG真人计划 ProtoSpace

The team joined Denis at ProtoSpace to hand over the fruit of their work to Lou on 13 March. Unsurprisingly it was an emotional occasion. The arm was presented in a special box decked with flashing lights. Lou鈥檚 eyes lit up too when she saw it. 鈥淚t鈥檚 everything I wanted,鈥 she said. 鈥淭his will make many things easier for me. It鈥檚 like having a real hand!鈥澛

3D Printed Arm For Lou
 

Lou and her father met the AG真人计划 team just one month ago

While the limb is not a formal medical prosthesis, it will enable Lou to catch a ball or grasp a bike handlebar. And it looks really cool. 鈥淒enis鈥 commitment to Lou and other children in her situation is inspirational. ProtoSpace is proud to have helped,鈥 Christophe says. 鈥淥ur volunteers learnt how to use new tech - ALM in this case - to show its ability to transform lives beyond the call of business. Their enthusiasm echoes a real generosity of spirit at AG真人计划.鈥澛

Read another inspiring story from ProtoSpace

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