Thanks to amazing community projects like e-NABLE and missions such as Project Daniel or the activities by Open Bionics and more, thousands, if not millions of people know now that it is possible to use low-cost 3D printing to make prosthetics at a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing methods.
That, however, is not enough. Just being able to make the prosthetics does not mean that they can find their way to those who need them most and could benefit the most from having one: amputees in remote, emerging world nations. The one single project that has been doing the most toward this goal, a project that I have been following very closely since the very beginning, is Kenya based 3D Life Prints. Now you too can help them do more by donating to their newly launched Generosity by Indieogo campaign.
To start it two years ago, Paul Fotheringham, who hails from Scotland, left his job as a Hong Kong investment banker. He then used his international contacts to help it grow into a serious, on-location venture, which is able to work closely with local hospitals in order to reach amputees. As many as 50 people have already received one of the low-cost hand prosthetics or lower limb prosthetic covers made with bq, Ultimaker and DeltaWASP 3D printers.
“Through real-life trials we’ve shown that by using 3D printing technologies we can provide prosthetics at a fraction of the cost, time and effort than from what is out there today”, Paul said. “There are thousands more amputees who need assistance, however, we have now come to the end of our resources so now we are asking for your help.”
I have followed the evolution of 3D Print Life prints over these past two years and saw their 3D scanning and 3D printing skills grow enormously, to the point that their prosthetics – based on modified e-NABLE designs – are often superior to other ones that cost more than 50 times as much. In order to do this successfully they have to work on location, in Kenya, serving as much as possibile of the surrounding territories.
I could nothing of a much better and more practical cause, especially at this time of the year, than giving your support directly to a project that is already making a difference.