Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Never Give Up: New Kickstarter Campaign Seeks to Raise Money to Purchase Prosthetic Covers for Wounded Veterans

ST Medical Devices

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unyqEvery day we see a lot of Kickstarter campaigns being launched for new products, charitable causes, and combinations of the two. There are so many projects related to 3D printing alone that we can’t possibly cover all of them, and it’s difficult for those looking for new projects to back to find every available option. Sadly, this also means that over half of the campaigns launched don’t reach their funding goals, no matter how cool the product or worthy the cause. I can only imagine the disappointment of those who have put so much of their time and energy into their projects to have them fall short of their goals, but that’s how the business world works, especially regarding crowdfunding efforts.

Setbacks are no reason to give up, however, in business or otherwise, and often the most successful are those can take a failure, turn it around, adjust their goals and try again. Adam White is no stranger to disappointment; in fact, “disappointment” is a serious understatement when you’re referring to the loss of a limb. In 2013, White lost his left foot in a motorcycle accident. Thanks in part to the support of his community, who held several fundraisers for him, White was able to obtain a prosthetic leg that allowed him to walk again.

However, White experienced what many amputees experience, which is the shock of having a metal rod where there used to be a limb. To help with this trauma, several companies have begun using 3D printing to create inexpensive prosthetic covers, or “fairings,” which can be customized to match the shape of the client’s remaining leg. The technology has also allowed for a lot of creative expression; amputees can choose from a wide variety of colors and designs, or even design their own fairings to fit their personalities. When White heard about these, he wanted to make his own. He launched a Kickstarter campaign to help him raise money to buy a 3D printer, which he planned to use to print fairings not only for himself, but for veterans and other amputees in his community.

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Sadly, that campaign, which ended in March, fell short of its goal and wasn’t funded. White didn’t give up, though; he just modified his goal with a new Kickstarter campaign that, while less ambitious, is just as worthy an endeavor. Rather than buying a 3D printer to make his own fairings, White is now trying to raise money to purchase fairings to be given, free of charge, to military veterans who have lost limbs.

concealTo meet his goal, White hopes to raise $5,000 by February 3. Rewards are modest, mostly in the way of T-shirts and armbands, but the greater rewards from a campaign like this one aren’t material ones. If the project is successful, White will work with companies such as UNYQ (which offers camo designs that appeal to many veterans) and Bespoke Innovations to provide custom-fitted and personalized prosthetic covers to at least 10 wounded veterans.

Regardless of the new campaign’s outcome, White has no plans to give up his attempts to help other amputees in his community. He is planning to start an Amputee Support Group in 2016 to help those who have lost limbs readjust to normal life.  Discuss this article in the 3D Printed Prosthetic Cover forum thread on 3DPB.com.

Watch a video from Bespoke Innovations below:

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