3D Printing Helps Amputees

Staff Writer | ITWeb | January 10, 2014

Not Impossible, a California-based media and technology company, has embarked on a project to use 3D printing to provide hands and arms for amputees in South Sudan and the war-torn Nuba Mountains.

Project Daniel, as it has come to be known, is spearheaded by Not Impossible's founder Mick Ebeling, who enlisted a team of innovators (including the South African inventor of the robohand, Richard Van As, an Australian MIT neuroscientist, and a 3D printing company owner from North Carolina) to crowd-solve the 3D printable prostheses.

According to Ebeling, the prosthetic hand printed in 3D allowed 16-year-old South Sudanese teenager Daniel, who was situated in a 70 000-person refugee camp in Yida, South Sudan, to feed himself for the first time in two years.

"After Daniel had his own ‘hand', with the help of American doctor, Dr Tom Catena, the team set about teaching South Sudanese to print and assemble the 3D prostheses. By the time we returned to the US, local trainees in South Sudan had successfully printed and fitted another two arms," adds Ebeling.