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Inspiring Story Demonstrates Power of Community and Increasing Accessibility of 3D Printing Technology
CINCINNATI, OH--(Marketwired - Mar 29, 2016) - Some of the most inspiring stories about 3D-printed prosthetics have emerged as a result of a growing global community of volunteers who harness the power of 3D printing to solve some of life's most difficult challenges. e-NABLE is an organization whose 7,000 volunteers stretch around the world and give countless hours designing, printing and assembling customized prosthetic hands for kids and adults. For many of these volunteers, Simplify3D is the software of choice because it is universally compatible with almost every desktop 3D printer on the market and it offers advanced print settings to achieve the quality and durability required for 3D-printed prosthetics.
Recently, e-NABLE and Simplify3D had the opportunity to lift the confidence of Peyton Andry, a fourth-grader at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio. Peyton was born with symbrachydactyly, a condition that causes the fingers of one hand to be shorter or missing entirely. Peyton had the opportunity to meet Luke Dennison, aka Little Cool Hand Luke, another young man with the same condition, but with one key difference; Luke has a 3D-printed hand.
In 2015, Luke Dennison received national attention for his 3D-printed hand, which was made at home by his father Gregg, an avid volunteer and spokesperson for the e-NABLE community. A mutual connection with Simplify3D brought these two families together. Gregg Dennison is a big proponent of Simplify3D Software and is good friends with the Simplify3D team. Separately, Peyton's music teacher approached Simplify3D to explore a 3D-printed hand for Peyton. Realizing there could be a powerful connection between Peyton and Luke, the idea was forged to bring the two families together. Meeting Luke would be a life-changing experience for Peyton.
"Peyton is a very confident, self-assured young man, but he has been a bit self-conscious about his hand, particularly when asked about it at school," said Peyton's father Steve Andry.
Peyton added, "I don't like calling my condition different. I call it special. I've learned not to let other people judge me for what I look like, but sometimes the kids ask lots of questions, and that part can be annoying."
During the initial meeting with Luke, Peyton's hesitation about a prosthesis evaporated as the boys connected, talking about everything from Star Wars to 3D printing. Luke explained how his father had built many different hands for him, including a special hand for kayaking. Then they watched a 3D printer in action, and Peyton was mesmerized and energized.
"It was like I was watching my son blossom before my eyes," said Cathy Andry.
With Peyton's excitement and approval of the process, Gregg Dennison and Simplify3D began building a hand that would help Peyton with a variety of tasks. Equally important was their mission to prove to the young man that his dreams were within his reach.
Gregg Dennison met with the Simplify3D team to review designs and discuss recommended settings. After some minor design modifications, Peyton selected his favorite super-hero colors. Simplify3D then began printing the hand using multiple printers to produce the 30 needed components in a colorful theme reminiscent of Iron Man.
While waiting for his hand, Peyton was inspired to understand the technology and spread the word about 3D-printed prosthetics. At school, he presented a science fair project that received local media attention and heightened the excitement about the upcoming delivery of his hand.
Peyton was fitted with his new 3D-printed hand in February 2016. "When I woke up that morning, I was thinking about it a lot and I was really excited," said Peyton. "But it's not just the people who get the hands who are excited, it's also the people who make the hands because they're making something for people who need it."
The project involved nearly a dozen volunteers, including Gregg Dennison, teachers from Peyton's school and Simplify3D employees. The hand was a perfect fit, and Peyton had little difficulty grasping a cup, catching a ball, and carrying objects with both hands. His joy and excitement were obvious as he quickly demonstrated tasks he could perform using both hands, for the first time in his young life. As Peyton explained the new hand to his sisters, his focus was on his new technology and capabilities, and not on his limitations.
"It is clear that the hand means so much more to Peyton than his new physical abilities," said Steve Andry. "The hand produced a sense of confidence and purpose. He gets to be seen more for his character, personality and heart, not for what he may be missing."
"The opportunity to be involved with organizations such as e-NABLE and help people like Luke and Peyton is inspiring," said Clayton Webster, CEO of Simplify3D. "3D printing empowers innovation through technology, but what is magical to me is the outcome that was created by a community working collaboratively to develop a solution and help others."
Simplify3D® develops premium 3D printing software, preferred by innovators, engineers and professional users worldwide. The powerful software application streamlines the process of 3D printing while providing robust customization tools, empowering users to achieve higher quality results on their 3D printers. The software supports hundreds of 3D printer brands and is available worldwide through an extensive list of industry partners. Based in Ohio, USA, Simplify3D was founded in 2013 after years of involvement in open-source and grassroots 3D printing initiatives. The team is driven to simplify 3D printing and to give users the control they need to succeed. For more information, visit www.Simplify3D.com.
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