Liam Porter, a seven-year-old from Augusta Georgia, received a special gift in the form of a 3D print Star Wars prosthetic arm. When Liam was born, there was no portion of his left arm. For a long time, Liam wore a more traditional type of arm prosthetic but in addition to being clunky, he found it boring. To make his life easier, a unique prosthetic arm was modeled after the Star Wars’ Imperial Clone.
In the Star Wars movies, there are two types of arms, one being the Clone Troopers, which are good and Storm Troopers that are bad. As Liam’s mother explained, for Liam, it is important for people to know that his arm is a Clone Trooper, one of the good guys.
According to John Peterson who designed the new Star Wars limb, Liam wanted something different. Not only is this arm awesome, it is much easier to move and lighter to wear.
The design of the new arm involves a clamp on and rail system, making it possible for various attachments to be added and removed. Because of this, the arm can be adjusted as Liam grows, something not possible with conventional prosthetic arms.
E-nable, a group of volunteers from around the world who create 3D print mechanical arms and hands for children were responsible for arranging Liam’s arm at no cost. The founder of E-nable, Jon Schull, also works as a research scientists with the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Schull stated that each child is paired with a prosthetic maker by the group. That maker then becomes responsible for the design and any customizations. However, in Liam’s case, Peterson did something extraordinary. In fact, of all the prosthetic arms and hands made over the years, this is the first Clone Trooper.
In all, it took three months to complete the development of Liam’s prosthetic arm. This amazingly customized arm cost only $300 to develop thanks to volunteers, compared to the average price of a traditional prosthetic of around $9,000.
During the first year of being founded, E-nable has given out over 700 prosthetic hands and arms to children in need. To present Liam with his surprise, members of the 501st Georgia Garrison who dress up as Clone and Storm Troopers had the honor.
Liam was also provided with a Star Wars helmet. The ceremony took place at a movie theater in Augusta and as stated by his mother, this was the first time Liam was completely speechless.