Affordable 3D technology allows ambitious youths to change the world. Developing an affordable robotic prosthetic arm has been 19-year-old Easton LaChapelle’s obsession for over 6 years. LaChapelle was inspired at a young age to make a difference when he met a young girl who spent $80,000 on a prosthetic arm that had limited function. Using only fishing wire, electrical tubing, and legos, Easton embarked on his ambitious endeavor at the age of 13. As 3D printing became a financially viable option, his roboarm gained functionality and traction. The use of a 3D printer in manufacturing has reduced the cost point of such technology dramatically. Although the project is currently at a stand still, Easton recently released his designs as an open source. The arm costs less than $400 to create.
With cutting edge technology becoming less expensive, youthful imaginations run wild with optimism developing new and intriguing humanitarian efforts. With 3d technology being engrained in our youth at such a young age, it's not surprising to find parallel advancements are developing close to LSA’s home base of Pittsburgh, PA.
Students at Westtown High school in West Chester, Pennsylvania are working to develop prosthetic limbs for children in need. When the school acquired their 3d printer, students banded together to help an 8-year-old boy born without an arm named Steele. Creating a robotic prosthetic using the technology at hand, these young engineering students are making life better for their peers.
Creative humanitarianism is flourishing alongside technology now more than ever. In our next blog post we’ll be exploring how you can get your hands on affordable 3d laser scanning technology that could be the inspiration for the next big humanitarian technological advancement.