Kids pursuing their passions provide terrific inspiration for the team at Limbitless Solutions. Working out of a lab at the University of Central Florida (UCF), Limbitless Solutions creates individualized 3D printed bionic limbs for children that match both their anatomy and personality. These fantastic and personalized devices are produced in just hours on a Stratasys Dimension Elite 3D Printer.
Kaká, the Brazilian captain of the Orlando City Lions, helps six-year-old Paulo Costa Boa Nova put on his Limbitless 3D printed hand, produced on a Stratasys 3D Printer. Photo courtesy Orlando City Soccer Club
What’s the Goal?
Last week, a young Brazilian soccer fan was the lucky recipient of a 3D printed hand from Limbitless Solutions. Paulo Costa Boa Nova, age 6, has a genetic condition that affected his right arm and hand. Paulo was selected from hundreds of applicants to have his bionic hand built by Limbitless Solutions. Paulo’s dad, Claudio, heard about 3D printed prosthetics from a friend who sent him the link to Limbitless Solutions -- prior to that, these kinds of devices weren’t a practical option for the family.
The Stratasys Dimension Elite 3D Printer used by Albert Manero and his team at Limbitless Solutions was donated by Stratasys. Children receive the 3D printed limbs free of charge; the students who run Limbitless Solutions volunteer their time and skills – which range from engineering to art to design – and the cost of materials is provided by fundraising.
Star Power Paulo Costa Boa Nova’s 3D printed hand, sporting the emblem and colors of the Brazilian soccer club Fluminense FC. Photo courtesy Orlando City Soccer Club
When Paulo’s 3D printed prosthesis was ready, father and son traveled to Florida as guests of Orlando Health. Paulo was presented with the “final product” at the training camp of the Orlando City Soccer Club. Kaká, Orlando City’s team captain and a native of Brazil, aided Paulo as he put on his new hand for the first time.
Paulo’s 3D printed hand, built in sturdy ABS plastic, sports the design and colors of the Fluminense Football Club, a popular top-tier Brazilian soccer team based in Rio de Janeiro.
Also in attendance at the proceedings was Alex Pring, whose 3D printed prosthetic hand by Limbitless Solutions was modelled in the style of Iron Man. Other fun Limbitless Solutions presentations have included the Blue Man Group and Winter the Dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Paulo Costa Boa Nova and Alex Pring compare their Limbitless 3D printed arms as Kaká, the captain of the Orlando City Lions, and Paulo’s father, Claudio, look on. Photo courtesy Orlando City Soccer Club.
Dreams Come True
Claudio Boa Nova acknowledged the role that the 3D printed assistive device will play in his son’s life. “I don’t have the words for how grateful we are,” said Boa Nova. “When I saw the arms they made on YouTube, I held onto hope for the opportunity for my son. I can’t believe that today his dream has come true.”
In an interview with Stratasys, he added, “We would like to visit schools in Brazil and tell them about 3D printing. We can use Paulo’s prosthetic hand as a way for the kids understand the importance of technology, and how technology can change lives.”
The dean of UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, Dr. Michael Georgiopoulos, explained, “Manero and the team of students who volunteer in the Limbitless Solutions lab are an inspiration to the entire school community. It encourages women to be a part of STEM and allows for creativity while making something that will change the lives of these children.”