3D Printing Gives 16-Year-Old Bomb Victim a Hand

Subhashish Panigrahi / WikimediaSubhashish Panigrahi / WikimediaDaniel Omar lost his arms in March 2012 when he was 14 years old during a bombing carried out by Sudanese aircraft, a part of the government's attempt to quell rebels. Omar hid behind a tree to avoid the bomb, but when the explosion subsided both his hands were gone. The Guardian reports, “Aware of the burden he would place on his family, in 2012 Omar told a Time reporter that he would rather have died when the government's Antonov aircraft dropped its lethal cargo.” He never thought he'd be able to pick up a spoon again.

However, 3D printing offered an astoundingly cheap and easy solution. A horrified Mick Ebeling, who manages the optimistically-named start-up Not Impossible Labs, read Omar's story. After finding Omar in the Nuba Mountains, Ebeling fitted Omar with a 3D-printed prosthetic arm. It cost Ebeling just under $100 to craft the limb. “Project Daniel” gives hope to over 50,000 amputees in war-torn South Sudan and offers a glimpse of a future with prevalent 3D printing. 

The Guardian reports

It was a pretty amazing thing to see this boy come out of his shell," says Ebeling, recalling the moment Daniel picked up a spoon for the first time since he had lost his hands. "Getting Daniel to feed himself was a highlight that was right up there with watching my kids being born.

South Sudan has been clouded in a messy, ethnically-divided civil war since an unresolved power grab in December 2013. Things are so bad that humanitarian groups like Médecins Sans Frontières can't prioritize the endemic of limbless citizens. 

Ebeling is disappointed by failed foreign aid campaigns and sought to provide an alternative solution. He is back home in Los Angeles, but he left behind a couple of 3D printers for trained villagers to operate. They are assembling a limb per week for local amputees in the region. 

Harry McCracken of Time argues:

That limb won’t get a tiny fraction of the attention that will be lavished on 4K TVs, tablets and assorted other gadgets and gizmos at the show this week — but it’s hard to imagine any other device here doing more to make the world a better place.

Attention has been drawn to the more controversial applications of the innovative technology, but people can use 3D printers to make more than home-made guns. It is the crux of many revolutionary developments in a variety of fields including: dental, biotech, eyewear, art, food, geography, and architecture.

In a world fraught with economic, political, and technological disparities, 3D printing offers a glimmer of hope to citizens trapped in politically crippled regions.

Watch a video from Sky News on Omar and Ebeling below:

Read more from Reason.com on 3D printing here

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  • Hugh Akston||

    We must regulate this dangerous and untested technology out of existence immediately in order to ensure better futures for our children.

  • Diggit||

    Who's advocating that?

  • ||

    Are...are you retarded?

  • Diggit||

    I...I think you are.

  • ||

    You're a towel!

  • Hugh Akston||

  • Diggit||

    Nice. It's about one American city banning 3D gun printing, not about "regulating this dangerous and untested technology out of existence." Would you like to try again, or have I embarrassed you sufficiently?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Not really. That was result of six seconds of in-site searching and keeping within the two link per-post limit.
    Reason has been reporting on people shitting themselves over the prospects of 3D printing since the beginning. You're welcome to look around and find out for yourself.

    But since I've never seen your name before, I'm going to assume you're the latest strain of the Mary Stack virus and blissfully ignore you.

  • ||

    That's a wise choice, Hugh.

  • Diggit||

    "Reason has been reporting on people shitting themselves over the prospects of 3D printing since the beginning."

    Nope. Just over the prospects of 3D-printing guns. See the difference, moron? Christ, pull your head out of your ass. Your ideology has warped your intellect.

  • Diggit||

    "But since I've never seen your name before..."

    You're going to imitate the matriarch of an inbred clan of toothless yokels and sound the alarm? Dude, you should get out more.

  • Surly Chef||

    Dear god, brown children are turning themselves into cyborgs. Someone has to murderdrone him.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Some stories just make you want to get up and cheer.

  • Paul.||

    That's not the problem. The problem is when 3d printing gives hand victims a bomb.

  • Jonathan G||

    This is an amazing story. 3D printing is literally changing everything in the field of technology.

  • JW||

    God damn it! Stop weakening my precious cynicism!

  • BakedPenguin||

    I know, right? You know they're just going to follow this up with a story about cops beating some kid until his hands don't work.

  • Brett L||

    Not to worry, these folks will be the sad, but necessary "unintended" consequences of the War on Guns.

  • ||

    If the kid gets shot in the hand with a blaster while Jedi Knighting all over the place, what happens? Does Boba Fett get accidentally knocked into the Sarlacc?

  • ||

    I think Boba Fett's demise represents the first evidence of where Lucas was going to take the franchise. Sure, let's take this popular and badass character and give him the lamest death ever.

  • Brett L||

    He had to die by chance because nobody but a full Jedi could kill him and Luke doesn't count.

  • ||

    No, Luke or Han could have taken him. It should been like this fight from Lethal Weapon, only in the Mos Eisley cantina.

  • Brett L||

    That's silly. Han can only take someone when his latent Force powers, manifested as luck... shit.

    But no, Luke couldn't have taken him.

  • ||

    You just don't get slapstick, Serious. If only there had been a pie to the face as well.

  • ||

    Also, this.

  • Killaz||

    The first cell on http://brandnewretro.files.wor.....rwars7.jpg

    is . . . prophecy.

    How did they know?

  • ||

    "MAY DIVORCE BE WITH YOU"

  • Pro Libertate||

    Badass? In what way? And "Boba?" What kind of name is that? Never saw a Clint Eastwood character with a name like Boba.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Well, Philo Beddo was close.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, exactly. Eastwood in a comedy.

  • ||

    1. Vader respects him and if Vader respects you enough to where he doesn't force choke you for talking back ("What if he doesn't survive? He's worth a lot to me?) that means you are badass.

    2. Just look at him. He's practically the Man with No Name in space.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I didn't get that at all. Vader only chokes people worth choking. I mean, look at the list, any low-ranking people on it? No, he chokes only people worthy of choking.

  • Loki||

  • Loki||

  • PD Scott||

    Truly a wonderful thing.

    In other 3D printing news, now you can one up those losers who only have ultrasound pictures of their fetuses.

    "The company uses 3D/4D ultrasounds and computer graphics to create an artistic representation of the fetus which is then 3D printed as figurines in one of three sizes: an eight-inch Lifesize 3D Baby, a four-inch Halfsize 3D Baby, and a two-inch Mini 3D Baby.

    Once the size is settled, customers can select from light, medium or dark skin colors and then a body position based on whether or not they would like the genitals to be visible.

    If something about holding a 3D-printed version of a 23 week old fetus in your hands just doesn't sit right, the company also offers models based on photos of your baby once it is born.

    The figurines can be purchased directly through the company's website, ranging from US$200 for the Mini 3D Baby, up to $600 for the Life Size 3D Baby. Those looking for a cheaper option might consider a model of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's baby North West, priced at $250."

  • Paul.||

    Hmm....

  • Jerry on the boat||

    Does the fetus have personality rights? Discuss.

  • Brett L||

    The day I get the heating problem solved for sure (ie, point that goddam ultrasound at your fetus 24/7/280 and not change the temperature in the womb by more than 0.1 degree C -- for litigation defense purposes), I will be marketing an "entertainment device" that happens to do ultrasound pictures of a fetus.

    Seriously, every 10 minutes while my wife and I were in the same room: "What do you think it (later he) is doing right now?"

  • ||

    If something about holding a 3D-printed version of a 23 week old fetus in your hands just doesn't sit right, the company also offers models based on photos of your baby once it is born.

    Hard to say which of those options sits worse, actually.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Look nicole, this is exactly why people who have kids need more money than people who don't.

  • ||

    To buy dolls? Yes, I know.

  • ||

    I'm going to call it "creepy and weird", but maybe that's just me. And you. And anyone else with a lick of sense.

  • Jerry on the boat||

    I guess Not Impossible Limbs was already taken. Anyways, nice to read something cheerful for a change.

  • 110 Lean||

    They couldn't come up with another C-note to get him a second arm?

  • SMG||

    It isn't about just having an arm. This arm is somewhat functional because more of the actual arm is intact allowing for some control. The other arm is gone above the elbow. The arm isn't just for aesthetics.

  • Geoff Nathan||

    Dammit, Alyssa. You made a Reason posting bring tears to my eyes. And it wasn't even a Balko-like nut-punch. It's the sight of him using a touch-screen that got to me... So now he can make hands for others too. Talk about 'give a man a fish...'

  • cheap soccer jerseys||

    The new technology should soon ban some dangerous thing like gun or bomb to protect people.

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