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3D printing is now being used to create arms out of thin air — the process could transform our access to prosthetic limbs

Cure Bionics is set to release a public version of its product in spring 2023.

Cure Bionics, 3D-printed prosthetic limbs

Photo Credit: iStock

A startup based in Tunisia is creating 3D-printed prosthetic limbs that cost a fraction of the price of the prosthetics currently on the market. 

Its prosthetics are usable for children, which is not normally the case for similar products. And as if that wasn't enough, they are also charged by solar power.

Cure Bionics was founded by Mohamed Dhaouafi, an entrepreneur who started the company after learning that out of the approximately 30 million people who need prosthetics, only 1.5 million (or 5%) had the ability to obtain them.

After years of research and development, Cure Bionics has now created a prototype limb that can be made via 3D printing. The limb is lightweight and muscle-controlled and can be attached without surgical intervention, which makes it usable for children with amputated limbs, many of whom would have previously had to wait until adulthood to be fitted with a prosthetic.

Each prosthetic arm will feature rotating wrists, plus thumbs and fingers that move at their joints thanks to electrical impulses. Their solar power capabilities mean they can be used in areas where people may not have traditional means to charge or power them. 

The company also plans to pair its prosthetics with a VR headset that would teach users how to operate their new prosthetic limbs, turning the process into a game to make it more appealing and accessible to children.

The company plans to sell its prosthetics for $3,000 apiece, while prosthetics currently on the market can cost up to $100,000. It can also print them in a matter of weeks, much faster than the currently commercially available prosthetics. According to the World Economic Forum, the limbs are available for patients ages eight and up.

Cure Bionics is set to release a public version of its product in spring 2023. In the meantime, the company is showing off its prototype in Tunisia. 

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