Marin County teen 3D prints prosthetic arm for man in Romania

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A Marin County teen says he successfully built a prosthetic arm for a man in Romania. 

Jaden Ramos, 15, started tinkering with 3D printers when he was in 6th grade. 

“I like that you can design something and in a few hours hold it in your physical hand,” Ramos said. 

Late last year, Ramos heard about a man in Romania who had lost high right arm below the elbow. 

The man’s family had posted a request online hoping to find someone to build them a prosthetic arm. 

Looking for a challenge, Ramos reached out to the family. 

“He sent me the dimensions for the hand and I started figuring out how I was going to build it for him,” Ramos said.

He downloaded a blueprint for a generic prosthetic arm off the internet and began tweaking the design with 3D modeling software.

“I would edit the base model so it would fit the man’s hand,” Ramos said.

The arm had to be the right size and strong enough to endure the wear and tear of daily use.

The hand also needed to open and close for grasping objects.

After three months of tinkering, he finished the product. 

It features bendable joints with rubber bands and springs acting as tendons.

Ramos boxed it up and shipped it off to Romania.

“And a couple weeks later he sent me pictures and videos of his dad using it,” Ramos said.

The man could grab a pot with the arm, drink a Coke, sweep the floor, even pick up a bucket. 

Ramos was thrilled.

“It was awesome. I was jumping up and down. I was walking home with my friends and I started freaking out. He got it and it’s working perfectly,” Ramos said.

He says the biggest problem so far is finding people who need a prosthetic.

He hopes by telling this story more people in need will reach out.

“It really feels good when you’re helping someone else,” he said.

Ramos says that after high school he might like to study engineering.
 

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