A girl of six born with one arm was finally able to open her own Xmas presents thanks to a 3D printed limb.

Charlie Cousins lost her right limb in the womb due to a blood clot. She had a NHS prosthetic arm fitted but found it too ‘chunky’. But after Mum intervened 3D printing specialist, Ben Foulkes, designed a computer image of an arm, printing it in tiny layers to create a new one.

Prosthetic and orthotic devices can help patients regain mobility and limb function post-stroke or amputation.

Depending on where you find your statistics, there are between 10 and 15 million amputees in the world. People who lose a limb go through a lot of pain obviously and the challenge to get a prosthetic limb that allows them to fully function again often doesn’t lessen the emotional pain aspect.

When prosthetic limbs were first created, they seemed like something straight out of science fiction, but they have been a boon to countless individuals.

3D printable prosthetics are changing the face of medicine, as engineers and physicians are able to develop prosthetics that are fully customized to the wearer. Consumer 3D printing is leading to an even bigger revolution: “DIY” assistive devices that can be printed by virtually anyone, anywhere.