Girl gets 3D-printed arm thanks to connection through Science City at Union Station

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

One metro girl’s life is changed forever with a prosthetic arm 3D printed to fit her like a glove.

FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt was there as eight-year-old Zadie Wilson got her new arm.

It wasn’t Zadie’s birthday, but with the gift she received it may as well be.

A couple of years ago, Zadie’s family visited Science City, and one of their makers connected them with E-Nable, an online community that helps design and distribute 3D printed prosthetics free of charge.

“Everything we do here is to help educate kids, but to really be making something impactful with our maker space is fabulous,” said Ryan Bell, a Maker Specialist at Science City.

Jaquin Buchanan designs and makes prosthetics through E-Nable as a hobby. Buchanan lives in Colorado, and traveled to Kansas City on a special trip to deliver Zadie’s arm.

He let Zadie make some design choices like the color pink, a rainbow band, and a bedazzled skull and cross bones.

Buchanan works as a software engineer in his daily life.

Zadie’s arm the first prosthetic he’s presented to a child.

“Even though it’s just a hobby, you really are looking for something that’s more fulfilling than model airplanes. You’re looking for something that’s going to help someone else out, and it’s really nice to get that feeling,” Buchanan said.

When Zadie heard that she was getting her new arm her mom says she couldn’t contain her excitement.

“I told Zadie, and she’s jumping up and down running through the house going, ‘I get my arm! When?!’,” said Ashley Wilson. “Zadie’s been wanting to try it for a while, and if it’s something she wanted I’m really happy for her.”

Zadie says she thinks her new prosthetic will help her in a lot of ways, especially reaching the monkey bars at the park, and possibly riding a bike.

“Some things I need two arms to do,” Zadie said. “Some things I’m scared to do without two arms.”

“Sometimes she’ll say it’s a little difficult for me,” her mom said. “I wish I had another hand to help with it.”

However, her mom says Zadie never gives up.

“Zadie is an amazing girl, and can do everything on her own. This is just another really cool tool for her to use,” Wilson said.

Her new arm will last around two years until she grows out of it.

“I think it will be amazing when Zadie can build her own, and come in and do this,” Wilson said.

“If she can come back and have that making experience as well, and sort of cultivate that love of science and making that would be great too,” Buchanan said.

Science City says Zadie is welcome anytime, especially when she is ready for her next design.

For a girl who can do anything, we may have a maker in the making.

Ryan with Science City says they are always looking to help members of the community. If you have a need that you believe a 3D printer can help with get in touch with their Maker Studio.

Buchanan says his design is open source and free of charge, so if you know a child or someone who may be in need, you can find it on E-Nable’s website.

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