Ben Choi Heads to ISEF Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair

You might remember Ben Choi as the runner-up in our 2020 Make It Real 3D Printing Challenge. His goal was to create a very low-cost brain-controlled prosthetic arm—and he succeeded!

Ben Choi, inventor of the 3d-printed brain-controlled prosthetic arm

Sponsored by polySpectra, the 2020 Make is Real Challenge was an incredible experience to witness some of the world’s most creative designers show off their ideas. During the competition, Ben Choi was awarded runner-up for his brain-powered prosthetic arm design.


Why make a 3D-printed, brain-controlled prosthetic arm?

Earlier this year, polySpectra CEO Raymond Weitekamp worked with Ben on his brain-controlled prosthetic arm. When asked about existing neural interfaces for prosthetic limbs, Ben stated: “I was really impressed by the applications and the technology, but I was also alarmed that these forms of brain control required hundreds of thousands of dollars and really risky open brain surgery.” According to Ben, this is what motivated him to create a non-invasive, low-cost prosthetic solution.

Prosthetics available on the market today are often built in conjunction with injection molding. Ben researched plastic engineering options. He decided on 3D printing as a cost-saving alternative for mass-producing plastic parts. Unfortunately, Ben had difficulties moving his prosthetic arm beyond prototype due to durability issues. That’s where polySpectra came in.

3D printing: built to last with COR Alpha.

We were excited to help Ben redesign his prototype for printing with our COR Alpha resin. Ben ultimately chose COR Alpha because it is the most rugged 3D printed polymer material available—a necessity to move his design past prototype to withstand the rigors of everyday use.

A grand prize in innovation.

In March of 2021, Ben presented his brain-powered arm at the Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair. His innovative design earned him the Grand Prize in Biomedical Engineering at the fair as well as additional awards from the US Air Force, IEEE, ASME, and more.

With COR Alpha I can really turn my robotic arm into something that is viable for daily use, says Ben Choi.

As a result, Ben was selected to advance to the ISEF Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair this month. He will be competing alongside innovative students from around the globe for $4M in scholarship money. Congratulations, Ben!

Ben Choi built a 3D-printed brain-powered prosthetic arm using polySpectra COR alpha and winning grand prize at the Fairfax science fair. See Ben at the 2020 ISEF regeneron international science and engineering fair.

Ready to move past prototype to production?

At polySpectra, we Make it Real by offering the most rugged and durable 3D printing solutions on the market. With COR Alpha, expect the durability of molded prototypes with the advantages of 3D printing. Our expert team will work with you on your design and discuss your specific application requirements. Get started by requesting your free quote today.