Local company shifts from bionic arms to face shield production to help hospitals

Limbitless Solutions creating plastic face shield pieces for first responders in need

ORLANDO, Fla. – From bionic arms to face shield gear, a local company is proving that the options to fight the coronavirus in Central Florida are limitless.

Limbitless is a non-profit organization based at the University of Central Florida that creates custom bionic arms for children. They’re best known for making an ‘Iron Man’ inspired bionic arm for a local boy, who later met Robert Downing Jr.

The company known for helping those in need has now re-purposed itself to keep that focus alive.

Limbitless started 3D printing components for face shields, something that health care workers and first responders desperately need during this pandemic.

With the UCF campus closed, and no student helpers, a staff of two is in the lab creating plastic pieces for face shields. They create pieces using five 3D printers.

President Albert Manero says they added a little something extra, a special message printed on each shield. It either reads ‘love,’ ‘compassion,’ ‘hope’ and ‘thank you.’

Limbitless is a non-profit organization that is stepping up to use 3D printing technology to help bring supplies to hospitals during the pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Limbitless) (WKMG 2020)

"We hope that's a little pick-me-up for our first responders and bring a little encouragement and we are so grateful for what they're doing and being heroes on the front line of this virus," said Manero.

Limbitless answered the call of their partner company, Stratasys, that created a coalition of businesses to help manufacture and distribute face shields which are in high demand in hospitals across the country.

“There’s no charge for the components we’re making, Manero said. “We’re using some of the material that we would have allocated for other purposes for design and manufacturing. We can’t think of a better way to be a part of helping our community in this challenging time.”

The coalition says it has received requests for over 300,000 face shields and Limbitless plans to contribute as many parts as possible. The organization will eventually go back to making bionic arms.

At the end of the week, a delivery company will pick up the first batch of parts and send them to Stratasys. The company will assemble the face shields and send them to hospitals in need.

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