Stratasys, a manufacturer of 3D printers and production systems, has announced that it has partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to advance the development of prosthetics by producing more lightweight, high performance versions at an affordable price.
“Our partnership has allowed ORNL to customize prosthetics to fit the needs of amputees by reimagining ways to advance these products,” said Jeff DeGrange, Vice President of Direct Digital Manufacturing at Stratasys.
Stratasys also announced that it sponsored the Amputee Long Drive Championship (ALDC) that took place on Tuesday at the Mesquite Sports & Event Complex in Mesquite, Nevada. The event brought together disabled golfers from North America to see who could drive the ball the furthest.
ALDC was started due to golf being added to the 2016 Olympics but not the Paralympics. ALDC founder, Dean Jarvis, decided that he would take it upon himself to create an event that would allow disabled golfers to strut their stuff on the golf course in a nationally recognized tournament. Jarvis succeeded in his efforts and the event is one of the most high-profile disabled golf events in the nation.
“If necessity is the mother of invention, then frustration might be the father,” said Jarvis, an above-the-knee amputee, as he spoke about the challenges he’s overcome. “I think Stratasys is a perfect match for the ALDC because their enabling technology embodies this mentality and presents new possibilities for me and my peers.”
Jarvis became an amputee in his teens after a battle with osteosarcoma. However, he still went on to play baseball at Cleveland State Community College.
The sponsorship between Stratasys and ALDC came about when Easton LaChappelle, a high school student, created a mind-controlled prosthetic arm using 3D printers. For this, he won the White House Science Fair and after his presentation, Dr. Lonnie Love, a senior robotics research scientist at ORNL, introduced DeGrange and Jarvis due to their common ground.