Innovations in 3D print- ing continue to amaze
and one story that really
caught my eye involved
6-year-old Alex Pring.
With help from Stratasys
3D Printing, Alex, who was
born without his right arm,
was fitted for a functional
3D printed prosthetic last
November. The arm was
developed by engineering
students at the University of Central
Florida (UCF) and produced using a
Stratasys 3D printer.
Alex’s new arm shows promise
for the 3D printing industry, which
continues to make significant strides
in the medical field. A prosthetic arm
today could lead to a fully-functional
leg tomorrow. The possibilities could
be endless. Alex now has the ability to
climb trees and catch a football, activities most children enjoy every day
without a second thought.
“I can shake two people’s hands at
once,” Pring said.
The brains behind this amazing
innovation is UCF aerospace engineering Ph.D. student and Fulbright
Scholar Albert Manero. Manero
volunteers at E-Nable, a network passionate about 3D printing with a goal
of developing 3D prosthetic hands for
those in need. Manero met Alex and
his family through the E-Nable online
It took seven weeks for Manero
and his team to design Alex’s arm.
The Dimension Elite 3D Printer
created the arm, using Ivory ABS
material, which is strong, yet light
enough to allow Alex to move
freely and comfortably.
Alex quickly adapted to his new
“He learned to use the prosthetic
fast,” Manero said.
Receiving the arm was an emotional
experience for Alex and his family.
“When he could control it, the
first thing he did was hug his moth-
er. He said it was their
first real hug. There
wasn’t a dry eye in the
room,” Manero said.
If Alex’s 3D printed
arm is a success, the
breakthrough at UCF
could be an encouraging
step forward in the need
“I think 3D printing is
revolutionizing our world
in many ways. I believe changing
the world of prosthetics is very
real,” Manero said. “Stratasys tools
with UCF ingenuity will change the
But, it is just a start, a work in
progress. Manero and his team are
continually searching for ways to
improve its design. As Pring gets
older, the team at UCF will have
to print a larger arm to match his
growing frame, but say it will come
at a much smaller cost than a tradi-
More importantly, Manero and his
designers are not hiding their secrets.
They plan to publish the design files
to the public online with 3D print
instructions in the hope that many
more lives will be changed with this
This 3D breakthrough certainly
gives Stratasys, a company with
headquarters in Minneapolis and
Rehovot, Israel, a strong name in the
3D printing field, especially for medical devices.
“3D printing is changing the way
prosthetics are designed and pro-
duced in ways previously not pos-
sible,” said Gilad Gans, president,
Stratasys North America. “It’s a
remarkable feeling when you see how
3D printing gives a kid the chance to
live a happy life like other kids.”
For Alex, he can now enjoy the free-
dom of being a typical 6-year-old boy.
For more information on the
Stratasys Dimension Elite system,
D860 Surgical Table
OPERON offers their D860 surgical
• Exceptional lift capacity and
height adjustment to accommo-
date almost any working level, allowing
for gentle patient positioning and safety,
regardless of the surgical discipline or
• Rated No. 1 in surgical table user satisfaction in 2013 by mdbuyline.
• Carbon fiber table surface construction.
• Multiple therapeutic surface options.
• InstaDrive increases mobility and maneuverability.
• Patient weight capacity of 1,250 lbs.
• 22. 6" minimum height – 46.4" maximum height.
• Lateral imaging window of 18. 3".
For more information, visit: www.berchtoldusa.com.
Frontier Medical Innovation’s GStirrup
The GStirrup from Frontier Medical
Innovations is a patient positioning
tool that provides safety, stability, and
comfort to patients’ legs when in the
lithotomy position. It can be attached
to any exam table in seconds with no
tools required. The GStirrup supports
the foot and lower leg. Many current
lithotomy positioners support behind the knee,
which can cause nerve damage. The GStirrup
simply slides over current footrests to economically and effectively provide support for patients
when in the lithotomy position. According to the
company, a few key benefits of the GStirrup are:
• It reduces the risk for nerve damage.
• It can be attached to any exam table or procedure table, as there are no accessories
• It is easily portable, as one pair of GStirrups can be used between the
OR, surgery center, ER, and doctor's office.
For more information, visit www.gstirrup.com
Quantum Orthopedic Beach Chair
The Quantum Shoulder
Positioning System "Beach
Chair" features fast no-lift
mounting and simplified
setup and removal. The chair
also offers powered patient elevation and instant, rigid patient
fixation for the entire case.
Additional features include a 500-pound weight
limit and pediatric compatibility.
For more information, visit quantumops.com.