June 23, 2016 press release
Create Prosthetics makes the first medical-grade 3D-printed prosthetic arm
Create Prosthetics, a 3D printing company that specializes in bringing prosthetic care into the digital age, has produced the first ever medical-grade, 3D-printed arm for a young mother in Haiti.
The arm, which has been prototyped in the United States for the last year, had its first comprehensive fitting on an amputee in Haiti as part of Create Prosthetics’ volunteer work.
The arm is attractive, lighter weight than conventional transhumeral prostheses, and is optimized for the most functional grasping pattern. Create Prosthetics founder Jeff Erenstone, CPO (Certified Prosthetist & Orthotist), explained, “We have found a niche that a 3D-printed prosthetic arm fills very well. Other prosthetic arms may be more functional, but our arm is very attractive and easy to become accustomed to. If an amputee has trouble with other arms, they may want to try ours.”
In early June, Erenstone fit a transhumeral prosthetic arm to Danis Exulise, 20 years old and a single mother of a toddler. They live in a tiny shack in a displacement camp in Haiti. Danis lost her arm in the earthquake of 2010 after her house collapsed as she attempted to rescue her niece. She was forced to cut off her own arm after being pinned under rubble for more than 7 hours.
Erenstone produced the hand and forearm at Create Prosthetics’ lab in Lake Placid, N.Y. He traveled with the prosthetic to Healing Hands for Haiti in Port-au-Prince, a charitable organization dedicated to bringing rehabilitation medicine to Haiti. There, in partnership with the Enable Community Foundation (ECF), he built the socket and assembled the rest of the arm. The arm weighs about 2 pounds, just half the weight of a conventional prosthesis, which was important for Danis’ condition.
For Erenstone, the moment that brought him to tears was when Danis’ daughter Sundine went up to her mother and kissed her prosthetic hand. “You have to understand how important that moment was. It means that her daughter has accepted the prosthetic as a part of her mother and not as an appliance. You wouldn’t walk up and kiss a toaster.”
Throughout the research, development, and production phases, the company has carefully followed FDA guidelines for medical-grade, 3D-printed devices. As a result of this successful development and testing, Create Prosthetics is now selling 3D-printed prosthetic arm kits in North America. These kits can be used for both transradial and transhumeral prosthetics and are made to fit prosthetist-designed sockets.
Additionally, Create Prosthetics is working in partnership with ECF to bring these prosthetic solutions to regions of the world, like Haiti, where prosthetics are not readily available or affordable. Erenstone stated, “We’ve been working with ECF and other groups for years to get prosthetic devices to people who need them most. It’s just part of being world citizens and we are honored to help.”
This was Create Prosthetics’ fourth trip to developing countries, where they donate their time and materials. Other locations have included Nepal and India. Erenstone and his team have already committed to two more trips to Haiti and Nepal during the summer of 2016.
About Create Prosthetics
Create Prosthetics offers innovative 3D printing and digital solutions to amputees and prosthetists around the world. In addition to design and central fabrication services, they will soon provide hardware and support for O&P practices across North America to print devices in their own offices.
Are you a prosthetist interested in the Create Arm? Click here for more details.