Published on April 20th, 2015 | by ananya kondiparthy
Twins fought against Muscular Dystrophy taking help of 3D Printing Technology
It soothes us when we hear that a team of bio-technologists are successfully creating solutions that are aiming to eradicate disabilities of children. These are specific proofs on how 3D printing technology is changing lives and shaping their confidence. People are able to do what they could not do. But think3D received a wave of inspiration when we heard about a very interesting story about Australian twin brothers who took help of this technology as a solution to fight a deadly disease like Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
They say where there’s will there’s way. Twin brothers, Chris and Nick from Melbourne, Australia have not only proved this statement to be true but are about to change lives of others who are suffering from some sort of disability, especially, the ones who are suffering from something like muscular dystrophy. These twins were diagnosed with this life-taking disease at the age of 8 and the doctors said that they would live till 21. And at the tremendous point when their condition started becoming critical, their mother Jenny convinced the doctors to make a machine that would stop from sleep asphyxiation. Finally their doctor Michelle Caldecott designed a machine that helped them to live.
Their shortcoming did not let them lose hope and they have been designing objects and components that would’ve have aided them. They’ve found their love for technology from a very young age, especially when they realized that their sole way of surviving this deadly disease is because of technology. Nick Fryer,now 37, says, ‘We’ve always been interested in technology, even when we were very young,’ ‘When I was little, my dad taught me how to make model aircraft out of balsawood and glue, and my disabilitytook that away from me, but now technology has given that ability back. I can design things on the computer and print them out on my 3D printer and it’s fantastic.’
To help others Chris & Nick Fryer are coming up MESH (Melbourne Eastern Suburbs Hackers), a 3D printing makers’ space, where the twins will be using 3D printing technology to teach others to use this technology to help themselves.
FYI, the twins were supposed to die at 21, but now they are already 37, living and inspiring others to live.
A 3D printed pet the brothers designed.
They have been making many smaller devices to make their life easier and to give support to their weakened muscles, “I wanted to adjust how I was sitting in my wheelchair so I designed the little piece to go in the side support bolts,’ Nick says. ‘We measured it up, designed something, 3D printed it and screwed it in and it’s great.” They also have a 3D printed mouse to access their laptops.
A 3D printed modified mouse that takes very little muscle strength to operate.
‘I think a lot (of people with disabilities) don’t even know this exists, and they don’t know what they can do,’ Nick adds, ‘What we want to do is to enable people with disabilities to design and create things for themselves. In the past it was virtually impossible for someone like me to actually make something physical, but now with computers, computer-aided design and 3D printers it’s become relatively easy.’
“Eventually technology will eliminate disabilities, you can already see advances in exoskeletons and prosthetics and all sorts of areas where technology is helping disabled people to, in some cases, eliminate a disability entirely. That’s what I want to promote. With robotics and all the technology being developed, you can re-enable yourself.” – Nick told
We have seen 3D printing technology changing lives, inspiring people from all walks of life. We know that if someone has talent he or she needs a medium to express. If you are a passionate story-teller, then you need a pen and a paper to write your thoughts and share it with the world. Similar in this current era, 3D printing technology is that medium.. that book… for all the creative minds to express themselves. It is convincingly ‘the trend’ that is taking the world on its stride.