3D Printing Helps Injured Veterans Do the Things They Love Again
“When a person loses a limb, the trauma and grief include the fear that they’ll never again be able to do the things that they loved to do before. Even if they can afford a good prosthetic, it’s hard to match a natural limb when it comes to the variety of tasks that can be performed. From shooting a basketball to drinking a cup of tea, there are a vast range of things we can do with our hands that we don’t even think about until we’ve lost one. Most of us will go through our lives taking these things for granted, but a soldier coming back from battle missing one or more limbs suddenly has to wonder how he or she will accomplish thousands of things that previously came with ease.
The 3D Medical Applications Center (3DMAC) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is dedicated to the use of 3D printing for medical purposes, particularly for injured veterans. Its service include 3D printed medical models, surgical guides and implants, and it has also taken on another task – that of providing specialized 3D printed prosthetic attachments for veterans who have lost limbs. These veterans typically already have prosthetic devices, but are looking for something more specialized that will help them with something specific – something their ordinary prosthetic may not be that well-suited for…”
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