Princess by Day, Superhero by Night: Limbitless Solutions Empowers Kids With Custom Bionic Arms

Heather Miller March 2, 2023 2 min read

See how Limbitless Solutions is working to transform what bionics for children will look like in the future with the help of Autodesk Fusion 360.

Advanced prosthetic solutions for children with limb differences are often difficult to find and expensive to purchase. But Limbitless Solutions is transforming the possibilities with its goal to create “3D hope.”

Limbitless Solutions is a nonprofit organization based at the University of Central Florida where research staff, affiliated faculty, and more than 50 students are working to transform what bionics for children will look like in the future. In this case, it’s custom, 3D printed bionic arms with built-in electronics.

“Limb difference is not anything that is a lack, and it’s not something that should hold anyone back,” says Mrudula Peddinti, Branding Director at Limbitless Solutions. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. The prosthetic helps empower the child to see that within themselves and achieve their future dreams and goals.”

“We put together a team that brings together all these different perspectives to see how we could solve a new problem,” says Albert Manero, Ph.D., President and Co-founder of Limbitless Solutions. “Whether it’s the cost or the physical weight of the device, children have really struggled to get good outcomes with advanced prosthetics. We learned pretty early on that children want their bionic arms to express part of their identity.”

An extension of themselves

For kids, the functional aspect of a new prosthetic is already life-changing. But making it a true extension of themselves with a focus on inclusivity is just as important. As soon as a child gets approved for a clinical trial, they can access Limbitless’ online design portal to design their own arms. Each child eventually receives two interchangeable custom arms.

“We always like to say if they want to be a superhero in the morning, they can, and if they want to switch and be a princess in the evening, they can do that,” Peddinti continues.

Designing custom bionic arms

From part design to electronics to CAM, Limbitless Solutions team uses Autodesk Fusion 360. “My favorite part about Fusion 360 is that it is an all-in-one software. You have your electronics, your design, your CAM all in one place, and it’s so easy to use,” says Limbitless Solutions co-founder John Sparkman.

According to Sparkman, the electronics design environment within Fusion 360 allows them to have both their schematic and board files open at the same time so they can seamlessly update with any changes.

Collaboration is also a crucial component, as approximately 50 students from all different majors work on the projects each semester. “If I start off on a project, another student might finish it off using CAM and by creating the toolpaths,” says Julia Sheiber, engineering scholar UCF mechanical engineering student. “We’re able to send the files very easily through the cloud and update things which makes the process very collaborative and easy to navigate.”

Learn more about Limbitless Solutions’ journey in the video above.

Get Fusion 360 updates in your inbox

By clicking subscribe, I agree to receive the Fusion 360 newsletter and acknowledge the Autodesk Privacy Statement.