MADRID, Spain: Juan Moyolema, aged 8, was ecstatic on receiving a prosthetic hand developed by a designer in Madrid who uses 3-D printing to craft customized prostheses offered free to individuals worldwide.
"It is going to help me pick things up, things like toys," Moyolema said, prior to a hesitant handshake with Guillermo Martinez, who founded Ayudame3D, the non-profit organization that manufactured the arm.
Once having been a designer of toys using 3-D printing, the 27-year-old Martinez began experimenting with using the same techniques to craft prosthetics.
However, after the delivery of five prosthetics to a Kenya-based orphan's asylum, Martinez decided to devote all his efforts to assisting the disabled.
"The five arms that I took (to Kenya)...worked so well, so perfectly, that I asked myself, 'How can I just stop here?'" Martinez said.
Four years later, Ayudame3D has emerged as a global company, having delivered 200 to 250 artificial arms annually throughout the world at no cost to those requesting them.
The plastic-made arm prostheses, centered around designs that reach the wrists, elbows, or shoulders, are the organization's chief item, though it additionally manufactures medical equipment, toy products, as well as mementos that are on sale to help raise money for creating the artificial limbs.