3D printing of prostheses is a big thing. There are literally thousands of individuals who are having their lives made a little bit easier, thanks to the use of 3D printing technology. There are wonderful stories from around the world that touch our hearts when we hear of them. Doctors scanning and recreating part of a man’s face in order repair it correctly or a father printing a prosthetic hand for his child.
Stories like these are common, and though there are numerous people who are benefiting from 3D printing to help them, there are hundreds of thousands who are not.
3D printers are characteristically expensive. This, coupled with the data that is required to design and print intricate components for a prosthesis, are not always easily accessible. This is especially the case for those people who are in need of a lower extremity, such as a leg. Adam White is such a person.
The North Carolina man, is also known as DJ Rewind, thanks to his DJ profession, is a much loved person within his community.
In 2013, he was unfortunately involved in a motorcycle accident that resulted in the loss of his left foot. White does have a prosthetic leg, an Ossur Reflex shock with Evo and this he is grateful for, but the leg doesn’t exactly look aesthetically pleasing. Although there are numerous initiatives, which are in place for more human looking prosthetic hands, this doesn’t appear to be the case for legs.
White was not deterred by this and he came across prosthetic fairings, which fit around a leg prostheses, thereby giving the artificial leg a more human appearance. In order to fund the prosthetic fairings White has turned to a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to allow him to 3D Print custom fairings for himself and also to 3D Print fairings for veterans and other disabled people in his local community.
White explained, “I recently was able to get a prosthetic leg which is very mechanical…I was looking into the 3D printing world for answers. I found that I could create a fairing for my legs to restore their normal shape. This procedure is very expensive, costing up to $8,000 or more. It uses a process of capturing a 3D image of the sound leg and switching it to fit the amputated site. The fairing has no medical effect on the user but primarily to cover the prosthetic parts. I want to create & print my fairings for my legs and also help others in my same situation as well.”
Adam White is seeking a total of $8,000 on the Kickstarter campaign. This funding will enable him to purchase a Makerbot Z18 3D printer. The Z18 is capable of printing entire fairings in a single piece, due to its build envelope of 11.8 x 12.0 x 18.0 inches.
Although the initial cost of the machine is expensive, it would not only help White, but it could become the tool to enable lots of individuals in the local community to acquire custom fairings.
The Kickstarter campaign will run until March 29th. This is a campaign that, should the goal be reached, will not hold any real monetary value to the backers, but the value to White and other individuals within his community, could be priceless.
Why not head on over to Kickstarter and checkout the campaign to see if you would like to assist DJ Rewind in his campaign?
[Image via blog.mageerehab]