This boy didn’t have to be from a galaxy far, far away to become the coolest stormtrooper around.
Liam Porter of Augusta, Georgia, who was born without part of his left arm, received a big surprise last Saturday, the Augusta Chronicle reported. The 7-year-old “Star Wars” fan was brought to a room in his local movie theatre by people dressed up as Imperial Stormtrooper characters, and presented with a new prosthetic arm. What’s more, the limb was created with a 3-D printer, and made to look like a stormtrooper arm.
“That’s something he is going to remember for the rest of his life,” Bob Richards, Liam’s grandfather, told the Augusta Chronicle of the moment the surprise was unveiled.
The arm was created by John Peterson, a member of the e-NABLE charity — an organization that aims to make 3-D printers accessible to those who may not be able to afford them, the outlet reported. While a prosthetic normally costs thousands of dollars, $300 went into making Liam’s arm, which is able to grip objects and could be adjusted according to the 7-year-old’s growth.
It’s technology that could mean improvements for Liam’s daily life.
“Every day he was saying, ‘Oh, if I had my helper arm, maybe I could do it with that,'” the 7-year-old’s mother, Ryan, told the Chronicle. “It will make a lot of little things easier.”
The prosthetic wasn’t the only special thing to happen to Liam that day. The 501st Legion, a group of Star Wars cosplayers who are involved in charity work, also gave the boy a “Friend of the Garrison” certificate, making him part of their crew.
3-D printing technology has offered many a new beginning.
Daniel Omar, a 16-year-old from South Sudan, lost his arms from an Antonov bomb. Last year, Mick Ebeling, an American doctor, formed a team and successfully created a low-cost prosthetic made by a 3-D printer for the boy. The limb cost only about $100 and helped restore some of Daniel’s independence, allowing him to feed himself for the first time in two years.
And last year, a 6-year-old Florida boy, who was born without most of his right arm, was able to hug his mom for the first time, when he was fitted with a 3D-printed myoelectric prosthetic.