3D printing used to create light custom exoskeletons for disabled children

Thought you've heard everything about 3D printing? Think again: This exoskeleton for disabled children is printed from the same plastic as Lego bricks. The exoskeleton, called WREX, helps children who have limited use of their arms to perform daily tasks such as feeding themselves, drawing, and playing games with friends.

Emma suffers from a congenital condition called Arthrogryposis that affects her joints and muscles. Emma inspired two scientists from Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, USA to exchange the usual metal with the lightweight ABS plastic.

The WREX is not a new device: Disabled individuals who have difficulty using their arms can make use of a metal WREX, which is usually also attached to a wheelchair. However, the metal WREX is too heavy and clumsy for small children, who sometimes have perfectly good use of their legs and have no need for a wheelchair.

The ingenuity of the 3D-printed WREX is in its light weight, as well as its easy and quick production method. Once the plan is set out, the WREX folks can print parts over and over again, while adjusting them to the child's growing body. If a part breaks, the researchers can make a new one in no time - no unnecessary hauls for re-adjustments with the child.

Without the WREX, Emma can't lift her hands up to her face or use them to handle items in front of her. Now Emma can make use of her arms almost like a able-bodied child, and the WREX grows with her as she develops. Currently, 15 children are using the 3D printed version of WREX, including Emma.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Yaara Lancet

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?