Prosthetic limbs that match your body … and your style:  Industrial designer Scott Summit uses 3D printing technology to create individualized artificial limbs that users can choose and personalize to fit their unique style.

In a talk at TEDxCambridge, Summit explains how this process not only gives users autonomy over the aesthetics of their prosthetics, but also makes for artificial limbs that factor in the quirks, curves, and uniqueness of a user’s body, eliminating the need for prosthetic-wearers to hack their artificial limbs — with socks, bubble wrap, even duct tape — to feel comfortable. Watch the whole talk here»

Above, photos of some of the creations made by Summit’s design firm, Bespoke Innovations.

Dad makes son 3D-printed hand! 3 TEDx talks to celebrate the awesomeness that is 3D printing


imageToday in super cool tech news: Dad makes son prosthetic hand with 3D printer, all the kids at the lunch table get jealous

12-year-old Leon McCarthy was born without fingers on his left hand. Without a prosthetic, Leon learned to rely on his dependable five fingers. That is until his dad, Paul, made him an amazing, colorful, custom-made prosthetic hand with a 3D printer, and Leon got to try out using ten.

Paul found instructions for printing the prosthetic hand online thanks to prosthetics-designer Ivan Owen, who wanted to create an open-source , DIY option for people who might not be able to get their hands on a typical $20,000-$30,000 prosthetic. Paul made Leon’s hand with only $10 in parts.

In an interview with CBS News, Leon said the prosthetic made an impact in his life not only because it allowed him to draw and hold his backpack and drink out of a bottle using his left hand, but it also made him "special instead of different" — a self-described 12-year-old cyborg.

We can’t get over this story, and to celebrate all the amazing innovators, inventors, and cool dads setting off on adventures in 3D printing, 3 TEDx Talks on the wonders of 3D printing:

**Scott Summit: Beautiful artificial limbs
Another prosthetics designer, Scott Summit, began to take issue with his work when he noticed that a lot of his patients had to hack their own artificial limbs — with socks, bubble wrap, even duct tape — just to feel comfortable. In this talk from TEDxCambridge, he describes how he turned to 3D printing to create limbs that not only match a person’s body, but their personality as well.

**Klaus Stadlmann: The world’s smallest 3D printer
Klaus Stadlmann built the microprinter, the smallest 3D printer in the world. In this talk from TEDxVienna, he demos this tiny machine that could someday make customized hearing aids — or sculptures smaller than a human hair.

**David F. Flanders: Why I have a 3D printer
David F. Flanders is a 3D printing guru and the host of PIF3D, a collective dedicated to hosting “build parties,” during which 3D printing experts help curious outsiders build personal 3D printers. In this talk from TEDxHamburg, he discusses the development of the technology and the implications of its mass use, including 3D printers’ role in recovery relief, architecture, and the office supply closet.

(Photos: CBS News)