Maxence six years and was born without a right hand. It will be equipped Monday in a printed prosthetic hand in 3D, inexpensive technology and playful but who has no medical license. Since 2013, an American foundation, e-Nable, launched a philanthropic network of a particular kind: to connect people with 3D printers with families with children who are missing fingers or a hand. Already more than 1500 prostheses were provided via the platform. “That’s how we were brought into contact with Thierry Oquidam. He had already voluntarily produced such prostheses for children abroad and wanted to benefit a child in France, “told AFP the father of Maxentius, Eric Contegal.
Maxence made part of the small hundred children born each year in France with a malformation of one or more members. In his case, it is agenesis, absence of training of a member during embryonic development. Since its birth, boy Cessieu (Isère), halfway between Lyon and Grenoble, managed “to find solutions alone” to live without right hand. His parents have also chosen “not to pair it with a prosthesis medicalized.”
This 3D prosthesis will therefore allow him to experience new things. Very easy to use, it requires no operation: it is attached with Velcro and can also just use a glove. “It will be a colorful hand in the colors of his choice, superheroes [with a capital" M "above for" Supermax ", Ed], he can remove at will. It will be fun for him in the playground with my friends, “told AFP his mother, Virginia.
” This is the bending of the wrist will force the hand [artificial] and fingers to bend by pulling on the tendons. This mechanism, hypersimple, does not allow to do very specific things like tie his shoes but lets do things enquiquinantes to do when you do not have fingers like the swing, scooter or catch a ball, “details Thierry Oquidam manufacturer, told AFP. The interest, he said, is really the ‘fun’ side to the children who more like to dress up, rather than putting a prosthesis “ugly” as those provided by the traditional medical system. Besides its manufacturing cost: less than 50 euros. A crucial element for the child who will have to change prosthesis several times during its growth. And if it breaks, the family can fix directly via a locally available printer.
All nevertheless relativize the scope of such a prosthesis. “Optics is to say it will be a tool and more. But it is unclear if he will use it a lot, “his dad analysis. Moreover, as family manufacturer does not hide: “There is no medical license back. “Questioned by AFP, Prof. Charles Msika of French society of orthopedic and trauma surgery (SOFCOT) estimates that” the 3D prosthesis has the advantage of allowing to see if it meets the child’s needs before manufacture “.
For parents, the goal is simply to improve the lives of their children and the eyes of others. And the experience of Maxentius could allow others to benefit in France, via the combination of those affected by agenesis (Assedea). “This is not a first in France. I myself am a little surprised of how widespread this thing. “It is just” the first hand that my association distributes in France, “says the computer scientist. This is not “revolutionary” but “in the same way qu’Uber completely changed the way to use public transport by taxi, in the same way as LeBonCoin changed completely overlooks the classifieds space two years, 3D printing is changing completely the approach of certain professions, particularly in the medical, “he said.