Today’s 3D printers can produce custom clothing, trinkets, and phone accessories, but they can also shape prosthetic limbs for people with disabilities. It’s a much more affordable and portable process than traditional prosthesis, so people in developing villages are gaining access to this treatment for the first time. For example, in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, many young people lost their arms and legs during the war, but they didn’t have proper medical resources in the area. With 3D printing, these disabled kids can have custom prosthetic limbs built as they grow up, without worrying about the cost. These inspirational stories can be found all over the world. Back in the United States, 3D Systems has taken advantage of 3D printing’s customization options to create equipment like the bespoke back brace — a way for people with chronic scoliosis to have a beautiful, specialized brace that can be worn under clothing. Below, you’ll find more technological developments that combine fashion and function.
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