Tony Stark, also famous as the superhero Iron Man, fancies himself as a genius, billionaire, playboy and philanthropist. Let’s add swoonworthy to the mix.
Well, technically, that title goes to the actor who portrays Iron Man. The man behind the metal suit, Robert Downey Jr., was engaged to deliver a bionic arm to superhero wannabe Alex, a 7-year-old boy born with a partially disabled right arm.
Said prosthetic was the work of mechanical engineering student Albert Manero. Who also happens to be the founder of Limbitless Solutions, a company that donates cost-effective 3D printed bionic limbs to children.
Now, you can chalk this up as a marketing gimmick, since it was initiated by The Collective Project, which falls under Microsoft’s OneNote division. Or perhaps it’s a timely reminder that the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron will hit theatres very soon.
But for a moment, leave the cynicism aside and enjoy the heartwarming moment when Alex equipped his Iron Man arm for the very first time. Complete with an Iron Man fist bump by Downey Jr., who was totally in character as he presented the arm in a Stark Industries box.
3D printing artificial limbs is fast growing into a viable market, mainly because the cost is relatively low. There's now a very real situation where 3D printing isn't just a cool fad, but something that can create a better life for human beings. Or perhaps even a future where people willingly augment themselves with such bionic limbs for aesthetic purposes.
Not us though. We love a good sci-fi film... just not that much.