If you haven’t had a good cry yet today, this might just be the heartwarming story you’ve been waiting for all day. Liam Porter is a seven-year-old boy from Augusta, Georgia, and he was in dire need of a new prosthetic arm. His last device wasn’t working very well and he was having trouble with everyday tasks and the like. But he got a helping hand from some unlikely allies from a galaxy far, far away, as a group of stormtroopers presented him with a brand new, 3D printed arm.
Leaving an afternoon matinee one recent Saturday, Liam was shuttled to another area of the theater where he found a crowd waiting for him with a very special present. There were stormtroopers, clone troopers, and other members of the 501st Legion’s Georgia Garrison, and they presented the young boy with a new prosthetic.
The 501st Legion is an international collection of Star Wars enthusiasts who recreate various props and outfits from the beloved space opera. They also do a lot of awesome stuff like visit sick kids in the hospital, volunteer at charity events, and take part in similar Star Wars-themed activities.
This new arm came from 3D printing buff John Peterson, who is part of E-nabling the Future, a group who uses the ever-advancing 3D printing technology to create replacement limbs for those who need them. Peterson’s prosthetic took approximately three months to build, and cost roughly $300 dollars, but as you can see in this video of Liam receiving his gift, it was worth every second and every cent.
As he explains in the video, Peterson was already part of E-nabling the Future and their mission and got hooked up with Liam and his family through that program because they both live in Augusta. It wasn’t until he went to a Maker Faire that he came across the 501st, and from there, things just kind of fell into place and you can see for yourself how it all went down.
Listening to Liam’s mother talk, it sounds like, as excited as he was, he was also a bit overwhelmed. How could you not be when you come out of a movie (you can’t help but wonder what he saw) to find a bunch of Star Wars characters waiting, specifically for you, outside? Not to mention that he’s now the proud owner of an awesome clone trooper arm.