Arav Bhargava, an 18-year-old high school student from The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia, has developed a game-changing 3D-printed prosthesis for people missing their forearms. Deeply impressed by the grim reality, in which only 5% of the 40 million amputees in the developing world have access to prosthetics due to cost and limited professional care, Bhargava created a universally fitting prosthetic kit. The production of the budget-friendly prototype is calculated to cost less than $40, which challenges the conventional expensive models by offering strength and comfort comparable to pricier alternatives.

The adjustable 3D-printed socket allows users to tailor the fit for various limb sizes, a departure from traditional one-size-fits-all approaches. Bhargava’s innovation comes from a combination of his passion for high-tech prosthetics, which sparked during an internship at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and his commitment to making a meaningful impact on people’s lives. 

Inspired by his time teaching children with disabilities how to swim, Bhargava’s creation is off to a good start with early tests.  People who have already tried it out found it much more comfortable compared to regular prosthetic sockets. His groundbreaking work addresses the pressing need for accessible and affordable prosthetics in developing countries, making a real difference in the field. If this is what he’s up to at 18, we can’t wait to see what’s next! 

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