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Students Launch Campaign to Provide African Hospitals with 3D Printing “Mini Factory”

by • March 21, 2016 • No Comments

  • In July of 2015, the United Nations released a report that focused on 3D printing as a local making source for goods related to humanitarian relief, one of the primary uses being 3D printed prosthetics. Inspired by the medical benefits that 3D printing innovation may provide to areas of humanitarian crisis, 15 students of the Rome-based Massimiliano Massimo Institute have teamed up with 20 volunteers and 69 extra
    students of the local “Making 3D Printers” class to commence a crowdfunding campaign to provide 3D printing innovation to two hospitals in Africa.


    Together, the 15 students and their collaborators have commenceed the Crowd4Africa campaign on the Italian crowdfunding platform Eppela, and are planning to assist these hospitals to 3D print orthopedic prosthetics and other spare parts. The team plans to provide both Lacor Hospital (Gulu, Uganda) and Kenge Caritas Center (Kenge, Congo) every with their own 3D printing “mini-factory”, that comes with an entire process for self-sufficient 3D printing. The mini-factory box comes with:

    A shredder to reduce plastic in pellets,

    An extruder that melts pellets creating a filament,

    A 3D printing device for dimensionsable-bodied dimensions objects and 2 service printing devices for additional compact objects,

    A process for 3D acquisition

    2 PCs and a database of 3D objects to print,

    A spare part set and tools

    Documentation and tutorials


    This way, both hospitals can be able-bodied to use recycled plastic waste, such as bottle caps and containers, to turn it into their own 3D print material, thus enabling them to create prosthetics at only of zero cost. The team selected these two hospitals in particular for the reason of the apparent difficulty local residents have affording and/or obtaining prosthetic devices.


    With the campaign funds, the Massimiliano Massimo Institute students plan on buying the needed components and assembling the mini-factory themselves. On the campaign page, the team has laid out precisely what they plan on purchasing with the raised funds, which include an EWE Olympia 3D printing device, a Filamaker mini XXL Shredder (to turn it into filament), 3Drag Futura Electronics 3D printing device kit, 3D Systems’ Sense 3D Scanners, and much additional. As of now, the Crowd4Africa campaign is approximately at its goal of €22,900 with 21 days remaining, looking like they can complete their goal of aiding those affected by humanitarian crisis in different types of parts of Africa.

    There are a number of neat rewards for those who decide to chip in to the cause, ranging of having your name printed in 3D (€50) to dinner in Rome with the team (€10,000). But all-in-all, the most reward may pretty be knowing that you’ve assisted to improve healthcare in Africa, as well as the hard-fought humanitarian effort around the world!


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