As you probably already know, 3D printing can be used for a lot of different things. However, if there was one cause for which I have seen the greatest support within the 3D printing space, that would probably be the 3D printing of prosthetic hands and arms. A group called e-NABLE has led the way in the creation and development of all different types of 3D printed prosthetic arms/hands. We’ve seen arms targeted toward children, we’ve seen 3D printed hands that have given military personnel hope again, and we’ve seen 3D printed prosthetic arms sent to war-ravaged countries for those injured in battle. Not only are there thousands of volunteers spending thousands upon thousands of hours creating 3D printed prostheses for complete strangers, but there are also those who have spent hours on end trying to come up with better designs which allow these hands to function more like the real thing.
For one post-baccalaureate premedical student at the University of Southern California (USC), named Michael Repajic, 3D printed prostheses are a way to provide hope, not only for children born with birth defects, but others who simply can’t afford the tens of thousands of dollars that your typical prosthesis costs. Repajic is currently in the process of starting a non-profit organization, called Humanus Hands United, dedicated to developing 3D printed prosthetic hands for the homeless community in Los Angeles, as well as for children in the United States and developing countries.
“I am already in contact with a gentleman that lives at the Midnight Mission, a homeless shelter in Los Angeles, and he is the first candidate for the prosthetic,” Repajic said. “I’m in need of assistance in order to get his hand printed as I’ll need access to 3D printers/materials.”
Repajic has made a plea to the 3D Hubs community to help him with his endeavor, one that if successful could go a long way in cheering up some of the homeless individuals living on the streets in LA.
Repajic’s initial goal is to create 3D printed hands for two or three individuals, and then with the help of some friends and colleagues, create a video for a Kickstarter campaign to help raise more awareness and gain some additional support.
“I was involved in a project at the end of last year where we assisted in printing hands for children in Haiti and it was truly a rewarding experience to be a part of,” says Repajic.
Currently Repajic is looking for anyone who has a 3D printing lab, and is willing to help him on his project. He asks that they contact him via email at: michaelrepajic[at]gmail[dot]com or on 3DHubs.com. What do you think? Will Repajic be successful in creating his non-profit organization to bring prosthetic hands to homeless people in need? Discuss in the 3D printing prosthetic hands for the homeless forum thread on 3DPB.com.