Forming 5: Maddie
It has been a little over a month since 7-year old Maddie received a life-changing prosthetic device from Form5! We are very honored and excited to continue working with Maddie to continue creating many more opportunities! Everything below is a summary of the last few weeks in the third phase of our project Forming 5…
After Maddie left the Form5 offices at the end of March, I discovered our first design challenge when the length of the tricep cuff (pictured above) was too far from the cup piece that cradles her limb difference. This prevented Maddie from fully getting a grip on the device in order for it to function. This device, very similar to mine, the RIT Arm works by residual elbow movement. So when Maddie moves her elbow and pulls tension on the several strings tied to the fingers, they open/close! This test arm also provided many other key details in fabricating Maddie’s final arm!
When fitting Maddie that day I made some modifications on the spot but anticipated the whole part to be modified for her small forearm to fit into the cup piece properly and comfortably. After spending several months before and during Forming 5, I had become more familiar with the program TinkerCAD. Using this software to not only fix the tricep cuff but to make further adjustments to Maddie’s arm to enhance her request.
Maddie requested her arm to be Panda themed and did not specify much anymore after that which fortunately allowed me to become more creative with my first recipient. After shortening the distance between the cup piece and the tricep cuff, I used TinkerCAD to make a panda face in the cup piece. Three inserts were created; two eyes, and a nose. These were printed in black to contrast the white cup piece to create the Panda face! These three pieces pop into the cup piece and can be taken out for play. Maddie actually lost some so Form5 sent some more that her dad has permanently glued in! I also used a 3D pen to complete the design with a simple mouth.
Forming 5 had a deadline of April 12th and with that Maddie needed to receive her prosthetic. After many delays, obstacles, and uphill climb with time, Maddie’s arm was completed April 12th 8:00 am and gifted to her that day during my final presentation that afternoon. The box for Maddie’s final arm was also entirely panda themed thanks to some amazing girls in one of my classes! The weeks leading up to my presentation brought lots of tribulations with 3D printing rapidly and beating the odds of many power outages. I am known for pushing the envelope with my work, but never have I pushed a deadline so close! I couldn’t be more proud of the outcome of my presentation and the opportunity Form5 has presented for Maddie! Thank you, everyone, who helped form 5 fingers for sweet Maddie!
Watch Maddie’s story and project Forming 5 covered by local news network…
Big things ahead,
Aaron Westbrook, CEO & Founder of Form5 Prosthetics