After announcing the development of a 3D printed prosthetic leg, Robohand continues to expand its activities. Most recently, the affordable 3D printed prostheses initiative has launched a 3D printing bot farm. Using a huge array of MakerBot Replicator 2 and 2x’s, 53 in total, the firm is increasing its production capacity to provide low-cost prosthetic arms, hands, and, now, legs to the world.
Robohand has partnered with the College of the Ouachitas – located in Arkansas, USA – to co-develop a 3D printing curriculum that benefits both the South African prosthetics manufacturer and the college’s own pre-engineering students. After the college acquired its over 50 3D printers, Richard Van As, founder of Robohand, recently traveled to the college to train Dr. Jody Schoonmaker, Applied Science Chair for the College, on how to set them up and use them. Together, Van As and Schoonmaker have sanded and levelled all of the build plates, tested every color of PLA for printability, calibrated every extruder, and securely shelved the Replicators. Two Robohand interns even 3D printed a College of the Ouchitas key chain to kick off the Print Farm. Next, the printers must be fine-tuned to print at their optimal threshold.
Now that the Robohand Print Farm has been set up, the college will use the printers in various courses, while also implementing a 3D printing course dedicated to fabricating Robohand components. Sounds like a pretty good deal: college students get to learn a new technology, while helping Robohand pursue its mission of #EnableOneEnableMany. By teaching others to 3D print Robohand components, they’re enabling many to have access to low cost prosthetics.