Today’s Solutions: May 22, 2022

Making a very simple prosthetic arm can cost $1,000 for the materials alone. But that’s all starting to change thanks to new and improved 3D scanning and printing technology, which can shrink the cost to as little as $4. In Guatemala, where some families might earn $50 in a month, one hospital is now using digital tech and other techniques to make prosthetics accessible for patients who couldn’t have afforded them in the past.

When the hospital opened in 2006, new digital technology existed but wasn’t yet feasible to use—not to mention it was expensive. A single ‘portable’ scanner was the size of a suitcase and would cost $50,000, according to US-based prosthetist Brent Wright, who travels to Guatemala twice a year to work at the hospital. Now, the costs are low enough that Wright can bring a handheld 3D scanner, 3D printers, and materials for printing with him from America.

Creating a typical prosthetic is a labor-intensive process, but with digital technology, the prosthetist only has to create a cast and 3D scan it. Once the scan is made, the file is sent to a 3D printer and produced. Of course, having a 3D printer on-site speeds up the process, but if that’s not the case, the file can still be sent to a 3D printer remotely where it is produced and shipped to where it’s needed. That’s the idea behind a nonprofit called LifeNabled that launched out of the Guatemalan hospital, which wants to train more people to take scans locally, and then send the files to printers elsewhere

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

The pursuit of nocturnal solar technology is growing

Last month, we wrote a story on solar cells developed by Stanford University that could draw a small amount of power at night, when most would think solar panels would be useless.  The endeavor to ... Read More

Meet the hero vet rescuing animals from war zones

Amid so much turmoil caused by the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, there are so many shining stories of hope. Incredible acts of humanity and kindness go on every day all around the world helping bring ... Read More

Allergies got your nose? 4 Medication-free methods to unclog your sinuses

It’s very improbable that anyone has ever enjoyed having blocked sinuses, but unfortunately, with spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, many people with seasonal allergies are likely suffering from sinus headaches ... Read More

These tips will help you make that big writing project less overwhelming

Whether it’s writing an essay, an article, or a book, the process of getting started on a writing project can be very daunting. It can be so daunting, in fact, that you spend way too ... Read More

The TILT Time Machine: for those who need help most

Recovery from trauma or addiction can be a painstaking and rigorous process that doesn’t just involve physical recovery. It involves tough psychological work that people can go through with the help of a therapist, but ... Read More