A sudden loss of a limb can be extremely traumatic for a person leading to unforeseen consequences like the loss of livelihood, loss of confidence, and a feeling of despair. In fact, the loss of livelihood is arguably the most traumatic outcome should a person loses his or her limbs. And if the person happens to be the sole earning member, the loss can be a sheer disaster. So, what is the way out? Is there any light at the end of the tunnel? The answer lies in adopting prosthetics or artificial limbs.
Prosthetics – empowering the amputees
There are numerous instances where people losing their limbs did not give up but became successful in their lives. The examples of Frida Kahlo (Mexican painter,) Zsa Zsa Gabor (actor,) Sudha Chandran (actor,) Stonewall Jackson (General,) Ella Fitzgerald (Jazz singer,) Jim Abbot (sportsman,) and many others come to mind. These names are a testimony to the will power and the use of prosthetics in turning around the fortunes.
Issues with traditional prosthetics: Traditional prosthetics, even though offer some relief, leave a lot to be desired. The major woes include lack of flexibility, not customized to the wearer’s arms, and heavy to carry. Amputees find these difficult to carry out normal functions with ease. In fact, in many cases, these turned out to be mere cosmetic adjuncts rather than improving the lives of the amputees in real terms. And since these are relatively costly, poor amputees are not able to afford.
Impact of 3D printing technology on prosthetics: Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing technology builds a three dimensional object by adding successive material layers based on a Computer Aided Design model. It has introduced speed, scale, customization, and cost rationalization to the manufacturing process. 3D printing has revolutionized the development of prosthetics by bringing down the cost and customizing them to fit the wearer. Moreover, since these are made from lighter materials, the wearer finds them easy to handle. The technology has come as a boon for the amputees, especially those belonging to the deprived sections, thanks to their dexterity and affordability.
Anudip’s 3D4D program helping amputees: Our 3D4D program, supported by CISCO, aims at creating robust and customized prosthetic solutions for the amputees from socially marginalized sections. These muscle powered devices mainly cater to the needs of the amputees of various categories such as students, athletes, factory workers, labourers, electricians, drivers etc. We, at Anudip, are working towards making these prosthetics affordable, useful and natural by aligning with the Mahavir Seva Sadan and the Indian Institute of Technology. Our 3D4D programme looks forward to serving millions of amputees by scaling the manufacturing of 3D prosthetics.
3D printing has revolutionized the world of prosthetics by bringing in advantages such as affordability, flexibility, customization, and scalability. Anudip’s 3D4D programme aims to help a large number of amputees, especially from the marginalized sections.