Indian origin teen makes magic with 3D printer in SD – Limbs with Love
Until recently, Prosthetic limbs were very expensive to make and mostly paid for by insurance companies. This left out a majority of people here in US and all across the world. With the advent of 3D printer technology, prosthetic limbs can now be made very inexpensively and with a lot more functionality. Our goal is to provide prosthetic hands at no cost to children and adults residing here in US and all over the world. To accomplish this, we work directly with the recipients in US, and partner with non-profits in other countries to serve the local children and adults. We have been certified as a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization.
To provide children around the world with prosthetic limbs free of cost through 3D printing technology. Meghana Reddy, 17, of California, founded Limbs with Love, a nonprofit that creates and provides 3D-printed prosthetic hands free-of-charge to children in need all over the world. Since 2014, she has produced and donated nearly 90 prosthetic hands to children in the U.S. and India.
Meghana Reddy began her work following a family trip to India, where she volunteered at an orphanage and befriended two young children with missing limbs. Realizing they had little hope of receiving a prosthetic, Reddy looked online for low-cost alternatives and discovered it was possible using 3D printers.
With a team of peers, Meghana Reddy has perfected the lengthy process behind each prosthetic hand.
One team member corresponds with the recipient to receive pictures and measurements while another uses special software and eventually Computer Aided Engineering to complete the hand design. Finally, the design files are imported to the 3D printer which prints the parts that are then assembled like a puzzle into the final product.
Meghana Reddy is currently developing a prosthetic hand controlled by electronics to increase finger functionality and sensory perception. The young Indian American is also working to start 3D printer clubs in her community to encourage more students to learn to use the technology for good.
The idea came to Meghana on a family trip to India. She was volunteering at an orphanage and wanted to help the orphanage’s two young children with missing limbs. Researching for ways in which she could do so, she realised that commercially available prosthetics were very expensive and that 3D printing could provide low-cost alternatives.
Working with several students from local high schools, a knowledgeable board of advisors, and her parents (who helped with the fundraising and transportation), Meghana perfected the lengthy process behind the production and delivery of each prosthetic hand. She is currently working on a prosthetic hand prototype that increases finger functionality and sensory perception. Talking to Barron Prize, Meghana said,
With the help of Fab Lab San Diego, a computer workshop that helped her with the computer designs, and through donations, Reddy delivers the prosthetic hands locally as well as to India, Mexico, Brazil and China.
Reddy explains how incredibly rewarding her work can be, “There are no words to describe my feelings when a hand is given to the recipient. So far, the recipients are all very happy and are left speechless sometimes. When I provided a prosthetic hand to a college student, he said, ‘This is going to change my life forever.’ He told me he used to hide his partial hand in his coat pocket, and with the newly acquired prosthetic hand, he proudly shows it off.”
Meghana aspires to educate and inspire other students to get involved in this technological revolution and pursue careers in the STEM fields. Although unsure of what she’d like to do in her own future, she says, “I am very interested in both science and social work, and hope to continue to pursue both through Limbs with Love.” Read more at www.limbswithlove.org.
Source @ Google News.