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Researchers use 3D-printer to create new "magic arms" for disabled toddler (VIDEO)

3D-printer allows researchers to easily swap out parts for mechanical "exoskeleton" for girl with congenital joint problems

3d printer customized drugsEnlarge
Researchers at the University of Glasgow suggested in a paper published on April 15, 2012, that 3D printers could be used in the future to create customized drugs making healthcare access more efficient and affordable. (PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

We knew 3D printing technology was cool - but for a 2-year-old with a congenital disease that has fused her joints, a 3D-printed "exoskeleton" is allowing her to use her arms for the very first time. reported that medical researchers at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children used a Stratays Dimension 3D printer to build the plastic supports, which help young Emma use her arms as a normal child might. 

The arms are printed from the same plastic that's used in LEGO building toys, says DigitalTrends.

Further, as the plastic supports are made using a 3D printer, it's convenient to swap out broken parts, as well as scale the "arms" up as Emma grows. 

Read more: How a geek dad and his 3D printer aim to liberate LEGOs

High-tech treatments aren't out of the norm for the Delaware hospital: Hospital and Health Networks Magazine named it among the "most wired" hospitals and health systems in the USA. 

Watch video of the remarkable "magic arms" below.