December 15, 2019
Medellin News

Smart International Partners With NGO, e-NABLE Medellin, to Help Provide 3D-printed Prosthetic Limbs

Smart International today announced it has entered into a partnership with Colombian 3D printing NGO, e-NABLE Medellin. By supplying customary hardware and materials, as well as ongoing support from the Smart International technical team, the company hopes to assist e-NABLE in achieving its goal to print and donate up to 35 prosthetic and assistive devices to those in need this year, and up to 60 in 2020. 

Smart International, under license from Eastman Kodak Company, created a 3D printer ecosystem that aims to provide cutting edge technology and products to support 3D printing demands. The KODAK Portrait 3D Printer has been designed with engineers in mind, and features a fully enclosed chamber and robust steel design, to make printing with high-temperature materials easy. 

e-NABLE Medellin is a not-for-profit organization based in Medellin, Colombia. Part of the global Enabling the Future network, e-NABLE Medellin uses 3D printing technology to provide prosthetic limbs and assistive devices to children and adults that need them. By providing 3D-printed prosthetics, e-NABLE’s goal is, to not only increase the independence of the recipients but also to boost their confidence and help them reintegrate into society.

Through 3D printing, e-NABLE is able to produce a prosthetic in as little as two weeks, with it costing significantly less in materials than traditional prosthetic limbs. With the help of a team of engineers, doctors, and volunteers, e-NABLE has been able to donate 55 assistive devices. By donating a KODAK Portrait 3D Printer, Smart International will contribute to e-NABLE Medellin’s objective to give more prosthetics to those in need in Colombia. 

Specifically, the KODAK 3D Printer will allow e-NABLE to print more complex parts that utilize materials such as Nylon, ABS and other advanced polymers. In particular, e-NABLE is improving on its initial 3D-printed leg prosthetic prototype and is exploring the idea of PVA-based structures for cellular growth. The aim is to develop the design and capabilities of prosthetics, with the possibility to adapt the devices to their recipients’ needs, and in addition, develop open-source GCodes, to freely share the technology with the people who need it most. 

There is a dire need for prosthetics in Colombia as the country is the second-most mine-affected country in the world, with over 11,700 people having been victims of landmines. Over the last six months, e-NABLE has donated almost 30 prosthetics and assistive devices to children with disabilities, adults who have suffered workplace and traffic accidents, and victims of Colombia’s ongoing conflict, including landmine victims.

e-NABLE Medellin survives solely on funds raised by generous donors. The Kodak printer will be named in memory of one of its first and most generous sponsors, Sydney Norris, who rallied friends and family to help keep the organization viable for the first year and a half after launch. 

“We are so pleased to have the opportunity to work with e-NABLE Medellin and support them in their ongoing, innovative, work to bring prosthetics to those in need. The e-NABLE Medellin team has a strong commitment to 3D printing research and development, and Smart International are excited to assist them in producing some remarkable new technologies,” said Roberto Gawianski, CEO, Smart International.

“e-NABLE Medellin is thrilled to be working with Smart International. Having the KODAK Portrait 3D Printer means that we will now be able to explore using engineering materials to improve our prosthetics, and the alliance will allow us to continue to innovate and help those in need,” said Adam Armfield, founder of e-NABLE Medellin. 

“We are currently forming a Technology and Youth leadership program that will offer some of Colombia’s most disadvantaged and bright students the opportunity to help build a brighter future for Colombia. Our mission is to show these youths how digital fabrication technology can be used to make impactful and long-lasting changes in health, education and society. The KODAK 3D Printer will help us achieve this.”

e-NABLE Medellin welcomes donations to its latest fundraising campaign. To donate, click here.

Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company

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