The real Tony Stark AKA Robert Downey Jr. in conjunction with EnablingTheFuture delivered a real bionic prosthesis to a young fan, Alex, who was born without most of his right arm. The project, led by Albert Manero, aims to make low-cost 3D-printed arms for the disabled and Alex’s looks so much like a real Iron Man arm that even Stark was jealous.
It’s wonderful to see these sorts of things happen. 3D printing has long been derided as a gimmick but with these and other similar projects popping up and gaining traction we’re looking at an era where everyone, not just prosthetic experts, can help people who are disabled or disadvantaged.
That Manero and Microsoft got Robert Downey Jr. to show up to this unveiling was icing on the feel-good cake. Previous EnablingTheFuture projects included a Storm Trooper arm presented by Vader himself and a kid who can now play guitar thanks to these designs. We’ve come a long way from being able to print highly-detailed 3D rabbits.