Shortly after his son was born, Ben Ryan was given devastating news. His 10-day-old son had a blood clot in his arm and would have to have it amputated.
Not only would his son lose his arm, but it would be another year before he could have a prosthetic. Furthermore, it would be an additional three years before he could one that was electric, as most have, which would move. However, he didn’t give up hope.
Instead, Ryan decided to learn how to build his own bionic arm that would be perfect for his infant son. And his job as a psychology lecturer didn’t stop him. He quit his full-time job and came up with his own design. Of course, it took research and time for him to teach himself how to design and make the model using a scanner on his game console and a 3D printer.
He then set out to social media and set up a crowdfunding page to raise £150,000 so that other children could benefit from his invention. According to Ben, 3D printing is the ‘future of prosthetics’ that could ‘change the lives of children who need this the most’ in a video he created that includes his son Sol.
Ben argues that that prosthetic technology has not been updated in 200 years. And feels that the prosthetics industry is still living in the ‘Victorian’ age.
Sol, who is now two years old can use the grip and the power on his bionic arm. Health experts are calling Ryan’s invention ‘potentially revolutionary.‘
Paul Sohi, who works with a software company named Autodesk stated that he felt it was impressive how Ryan taught himself how to make his son a bionic arm. Of course, we would have to agree. A father who had no background in product design put everything in his life on hold to teach himself about it. Then, he created a scanner for his XBOX 360 and used it with a 3D printer to make it happen. Not only that, but he is working towards using his invention to help thousands of other children!