Engineer Makes 3D-Printed Prosthetics For The Poor And Orphans In Kenya

Saanvi Araav - Apr 17, 2019


Engineer Makes 3D-Printed Prosthetics For The Poor And Orphans In Kenya

Industrial designer Guillermo Martinez has put his passion for 3D printing into use by making 3D-printed prosthetics for people in Kenya.

Guillermo Martinez, an industrial designer, has always been fascinated by 3D printing.

Eventually, in 2017, Martinez got his own 3D printer and began experimenting by watching all those tutorials that he found on YouTube. However, he would never imagine where his hobby would take him.

Martinez, who is now a 24-year-old guy, was a staff at a toy store in Madrid at that time. Every day after closing the shop at 6 pm, he would work on his designs from his house for various projects and robotic designs. Then one day, he came upon a prosthetic 3D-printed hand design.

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Guillermo Martinez - an industrial designer says that 3D printing has always been of his interest.

In an interview with Business Insider, he said:

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He added:

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It was just the beginning with all those inside jokes.

Then after a while, he started making entire 3D-printed prostheses just for fun. At that moment, he began to think about taking his hobby to where in need. So he was supposed to visit Kenya on a trip. With that chance, he contacted Bamba Project (an NGO in Kenya) to see if there is any usage for his cheap prosthetics. Turned out, lots of people in Kenya needed the prosthetics.

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The next morning, he received about six WhatsApps' messages asking him to build prostheses for the Kenyanians all over the country.

But surely, producing prosthetics for people living in Kenya was not an easy task, partially because Kenya is one of the world's poorest countries. So that is why it was challenging to gather the materials needed for the 3D-printing process.

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He commented:

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So instead of giving up, Martinez came up with a genius idea. First, he made plastic prosthetic limbs, then added in rubber bands and high-tension wires to support the movement. The final product consisted of a hand which let the wearers lift an object of up to 10kg in weight. He made it with the local material sources in Kenya. And since the price tag for these materials in Kenya is pretty low, $50 is what it takes to manufacture the whole prosthetic limb.

In the interview, Guillermo Martinez said:

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After dealing with the material and price problem, he went on to launch a proper website for the project. He also started a crowdfunding campaign to ask for investors from all over the world to help him complete his dream. Then gradually, with the help of some handy donation and media coverage, he got some momentum.

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At the moment, he has successfully delivered over 50 prostheses to many poor countries across the globe. Thus the next logical step for him would be expanding his company to a global scale so that he could offer this amazing service to a larger and wider population at a much lower price.

Moreover, Guillermo Martinez has started to teach in different schools in these countries as well. He wants to introduce young kids to 3D printing technology and show them the very first steps. Like that, these kids could maybe find their passion for 3D printing and even become more skillful than he is.

World Youth Forum has awarded Martinez for his effort. He said:

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