A welcome moment of truth came from a Moulton Chapel youngster on Monday (September 25) while riding a specially-adapted bicycle with his friends.
Aidan Crowshaw was a willing prototype for 3D designer Dudley Long, of Chain Bridge Forge in Spalding, in finding a way to make life as normal as possible despite being born with an arm-related abnormality.
I left the design of the handlebar to Chain Bridge Forge and after a couple of attempts, they made one that was just rightNicola Crowshaw, beauty therapist and part of Mulberry Craft Consortium
The youngster and his mother Nicola Crowshaw teamed up with volunteers from the 18th century forge and bicycle specialists at Gibbons Cycles and Sports in Spalding to overcome Aidan’s disability with an adaptable bike for him.
Nicola, a beauty therapist in Spalding who is also part of Algarkirk Mulberry Craft Consortium stained glass group, said: “Geoff Taylor, of Chain Bridge Forge, approached me with the idea of creating an item that would be in the public domain.
“So I asked him to make me an arm extension that my son could use to ride his bike because Aidan has an anomaly from the elbow down to his hand which means that he has to ride a three-wheel bike for extra balance.
“I left the design of the handlebar to Chain Bridge Forge and after a couple of attempts, they made one that was just right.
“Aidan and I had already decided on getting a bike he wanted from Gibbons whose staf kindly moved the gears and brakes to suit him.
“But the handlebar helps him keep his body straight and I’m amazed at what Chain Bridge Forge has done.”
Dudley said: “Because Nicola volunteers at a place where they make stained glass, Geoff learned about her son’s abnormality and decided to make a prosthetic arm that’s attached to the bike to give Aidan some stability.
“We have 3D printing at Chain Bridge Forge where I do a lot of designing so we came up with a fixture that works around Aidan’s and then used a 3D scanner to get an idea of how big his arm was.
“The handlebar itself was made by using 3D modelling software in the shape of Aidan’s arm after finally settling on a shape that fitted perfectly.
“Aidan came in with his mum last weekend to try the prosthetic handlebar on and he said that he really liked it.
“In terms of prosthetics, it’s a first for Chain Bridge Forge because I’d never done something like this before.”
Geoff Taylor, of the Friends of Chain Bridge Forge, said: “Dudley’s skill is being able to convert ideas into a design, using 3D tools before printing and making the items.
“It’s part of a bigger project that we have with the University of Lincoln with whom we’re trying to do more work.”