A super hero dream right out of Marvel Comics came true for a little boy who was born with an undeveloped right arm.
Robert Downey Jr. took time last weekend to present Alex Pring with a new hi-tech prosthetic arm designed to look like the red metallic one worn by “Tony Stark” whenever he turns into Iron Man.
The superstar celebrity said on Facebook it was an “absolute privilege” to give the custom 3D-printed bionic arm to Alex, whom he called “the most dapper 7-year-old I’ve ever met.” (Watch the video below)
The arm — destined to be the envy of every kid on the playground — was made possible thanks to the combined efforts of Microsoft, the Collective Project, and Limbitless Solutions, a nonprofit group of engineering enthusiasts.
Albert Manero, a doctoral engineering student at the University of Central Florida, leads the team of volunteers at Limbitless Solutions. The group uses 3D printing to make inexpensive electronic prosthetics for kids. Normally, a prosthetic arm like Alex’s would cost thousands of dollars, but with 3D printing, the cost to build is cut to just $350. Children get their prosthetics from Limbitless Solutions at no cost to the family.
Alex is not the first to receive a superhero inspired limb replacement. In January, “Darth Vader” delivered a Storm Trooper arm to 7-year-old Liam Porter, through the global eNable organization, of which Limbitless Solutions is a part.