Teens Use 3D Printer to Give Three-Year-Old Avery the Best Gift Ever!

This independent little girl will now have two hands to play with.

Jan 12, 2022
Teens Use 3D Printer to Give Three-Year-Old Avery the Best Gift Ever! | This independent little girl will now have two hands to play with.

Little Avery Walker, a three year old energetic and sassy child, was born with one typical arm and one “little arm” as she calls it — an arm that doesn't have an elbow, forearm, wrist or hand. And although this has never stopped her from coloring, playing or being an independent little girl, she can now do all of those things and more. Thanks to three teenagers from Wellington's Scots College, she now has a robotic arm that attaches itself to her “little arm”.

An Act of Kindness
Locky Stinson, Liam Frampton and Ben Trolove, the three teens who are making waves with their act of kindness, met Avery and her family at an open day, reports NewsHub. The boys had been presenting a prototype for a prosthetic arm that they had built. They decided to make one for Avery who at that time had a prosthetic arm that was too small on her and would have been quite costly to replace. Prosthetic arms, they explain, can cost anywhere between $20,000 to $100,000.

The arm was built with a 3D printer and scanner, which allowed the correct parts to be designed and printed, says Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand's popular news site. The idea is for a velcro strap to go over her shoulder and across her chest, and hold it in place. The electronic arm even has EMG sensors that react to Avery tensing her muscles. 

The teens hoped to raise $900 through a Givealittle page to cover the material’s cost. What happened next was amazing — they ended up raising more than $3000! The extra money will be used to further develop and improve Avery’s arm.

A unique solution
One of the unique things about Stinson, Frampot and Trolove’s prosthetic arm is the ability to replace parts and allow the limb to grow together with its user. Typically, prosthetic arms have to be replaced as the user grows, which makes them incredibly expensive. With the trio’s solution, only parts of it need to be replaced, making the cost much more affordable. 

Newsfounded quotes Sean Gray, Chief Executive of Peke Waihanga, an artificial limb service, saying that these kinds of robotic options are much simpler than the prosthetic alternative, especially for people who need joints replaced. Although there is still some refining to do, Gray was extremely impressed by the teen’s work. The hope is that Avery will get to use this new robotic arm until she is around five years old, and then replacement pieces will be able to be reprinted as she grows. 

Although the story has a happy ending, the process wasn’t as smooth as it may seem. Frampton said they went through 12 different prototypes before arriving at the last version of the prosthetic. The results were worth every one of those prototypes and hard work, and the positive impact their innovation will have on the quality of life of people like Avery, and the world, is infinite. 

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DENNA HABER, CONTRIBUTOR
Deena’s diverse hobbies include boxing, writing, social media, and coffee drinking. She is passionate about wellness, mental health and making the world a better place. When she’s not working on her latest project, she’s spending quality time playing with her kids.