Children have more imaginative ideas that probably an adult could ever think of. Recently a 10 year kid named Jordan Reeves made a prosthetic arm whose only function was to shoot a cloud of glitter. Jordan’s idea was to create her own superhero inspired prosthetic arm at Autodesk’s Pier 9 Superhero Cyborgs Workshop in San Francisco in January.
A 3D software company Autodesk and KIDmob organized the workshop. KIDmob is a nonprofit kid integrated design firm and allows kids with upper limb disabilities to work with 3D designers and engineers. It helps the kids to bring their superhero powers to life with 3D modeling and 3D printing technologies. It was a 5 day workshop where a group of children between the ages of 10 to 15 worked with 3D design tools like Tinkercad and Fusion 360.
Co-director of KIDmob, Kate Ganim says of the workshop, “For us, our interest is in getting kids familiar with taking an idea from concept to execution and learning the skills along the way to do that. Ideally, it’s not about the end product they end up with out of workshop; it’s more about realizing they’re not just subject to what’s available on the market. It creates this interesting closed loop system where they’re both designer and end user. That is very powerful.”
Reeves who is just 10 year old from Columbia, Missouri came up with the 3D printed sparkle cannon idea. Her idea was one that drew most of the attention at the workshop event. The idea was an inspiration because Reeves was born with a left arm that just stops above his elbow and struggled to find prosthetics that would fit his arm, as most of the prosthetics arms are designed for a working elbow. And as a growing child investing in such expensive prosthetic is not viable because they can be only used until it fits the arms of the child. The workshop have allowed Reeves and many other childrens to explore their creativity for designing prosthetic arms for themselves and have some fun in the process at the same time.
Jen Lee Reeves, Reeves’ mother is the founder of the Ofborn Just Right. It is an online blog platform where parents of disabled childrens share their stories and also find support. Jen Lee Reeves further says, “We’ve always encouraged the growth of 3D printing, because it’s more affordable. I feel like the engineers building these hands are really great, but they don’t know the body. There’s a revolution that’s emerging where doctors and experts with degrees that help the body need to know more about hacking the body with more affordable tools.”
Reeves came up with her five barreled 3Dprinted glitter cannon at the end of the workshop called the “Project Unicorn” to the employees of Autodest and KIDmob. Later the judges paired each of the kids to a mentor to help them further create their innovative projects within a period of six months. Reeves was paired with Sam Hobish who is a Autodesk designer to help her understand her project and make it the best project ever even if it elapsed the time period of six months. Hobish explains, “I’ve been talking to my colleagues in electronics and materials development about ways we can create some kind of pressurized system that shoots out sparkles more effectively. I plan to work until we get something she really likes. If that means we make new prototypes over the course of a year, I’m fine with that. I’ll keep going until someone tells me to stop.”
Reeves’s main purpose of creating the Unicorn Project was to spread joy and happiness to those people who are around her and make them smile. Reeves is further eager to create a 3D printed prosthetic that she can use on a regular basis helping her to do her daily chores on her own like holding a cell phone, or helping parents in carrying groceries back home etc. Reeves’s idea of the Unicorn Project is an inspiration to those who are disabled to spread and share moment of happiness. Soon with the help of Hobish Reeves will receive the affordable and functional prosthetic arm she needs. But until then her Unicorn Project will be inspiring many other to innovate new ideas that spread happiness in life.