Fla. boy gets new arm made in 3-D printer

Orlando, Florida (WKMG) -- Six-year-old Alex Pring was born without an arm, but he says that hasn't stopped him from trying to do things other kids can do. He does admit, though, that it's getting harder the more he grows. But thanks to some UCF students, Alex has a brand new bionic arm.

"I can go fishing with my mom and dad," he says.

And that's only one of the many activities 6-year-old Alex can now do after receiving his new robotic arm and hand at the Fairwinds Alumni Center Tuesday morning.

"Words can't explain how grateful and excited and happy we are. I mean look at his face look how happy he is," says Alex's mom, Alyson Pring.

Alyson wanted to see if she could make a hand for him using a 3-D printer, but when it got too complicated, she turned to UCF Aerospace Engineering student Albert Manero for help.

"I figured I'd ask him for help and he would give me some kind of pointers. I didn't think he was going to say, 'I can do way better, just give me a couple of weeks,'" she says.

And just six weeks later, Manero and his group of engineering friends developed a robotic arm for Alex using the 3-D printer.

"Alex flexes his muscle. It reads a little voltage inside the arm and actuates the motor that closes the hand," Manero explains.

The family says the prosthetic would have cost them thousands of dollars and it wasn't covered by insurance. It only cost Manero and his group $350 to make, and they gave it to Alex for free. The family says they're forever grateful.

"They'll always have a place in our hearts and a place in our home. They are going to do great things like they are now."

The only thing little Alex can't do is get his arm wet, but Manero says they're now looking at a new 3-D printer that'll hopefully make a waterproof model in the future.


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