Mick Ebeling Turns Tragedies Into Technological Breakthroughs

Guy Dixon | The Globe and Mail | June 19, 2014

The act involved great humanism, a 3-D printer and that contemporary need to film it all.  It’s the curious way humanitarianism (and the money to back it) works in modern times. It started when Mick Ebeling read a news article about Daniel Omar, then a 14-year-old Sudanese boy who had lost an arm to a bomb attack.

Mr. Ebeling, a filmmaker in Venice, Calif., isn’t like most. He didn’t read the April 2012 piece in Time magazine about the boy, feel the injustice of the world and then go about the day.  Mr. Ebeling drew up a plan of action which, a year and a half later, took him to the Democratic Republic of the Sudan with the 3-D printer. With the help of a team of developers, the printer was able to build Mr. Omar a cheap prosthesis, demonstrating how this could be replicated in the most remote areas for an untold number of other amputees. But Mr. Ebeling’s focus was chiefly on helping one boy...