AMS Spring 2023

FACT & e-NABLE: 3D Printing Hand Prostheses at ‘Build Your Own: Tools for Sharing’ Exhibit 

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imagesWhile the technologically savvy are quite aware of the revolution 3D printing is forging in manufacturing, globally, it’s certainly not lost on most, that there is a definite meeting in the middle as the technology progresses. And while 3D printing is being used to make a plethora of high-quality components in industries like that of automotive and aerospace, it’s certainly co-existing pleasantly with a bevy of traditional methods still concretely in place.

England’s Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) is putting evidence of this on display with an upcoming exhibit, Build Your Own: Tools for Sharing, from June 4 through August 31st. Coordinated with the Crafts Council  and Norfolk Museums Service, the exhibit will show off artwork to be created in the Liverpool and Norwich areas as they explore ‘digital technologies coming together with traditional processes of production to create new ways of working, sharing and collaborating.’

Linda Brothwell Acts of Care

Linda Brothwell, ‘Acts of Care’

While they highlight the extreme transformation that the DIY industry and community has undergone, as well as showing how interests have changed, expanded, and how access has shifted forward, it’s not lost here that traditional methods are still being handily employed.

FACT is featuring:

  • Leading makers
  • Creative technologists
  • Collectives

Displays explore and demonstrate processes from constructing a homemade casting factory setup to creating paving slabs, as well as intently exploring technology related to the Internet of Things.

They are however putting a major, interactive spotlight on 3D printing technology with a massive display of 3D printing in coordination with DoES Liverpool, a hacker and entrepreneur company, and e-NABLE—the large community famous for their work in 3D prosthetics globally.

chi-4With a version of the Enabling the Future project by e-NABLE set up at the exhibition, the groups will put together a line of 3D printers to do what e-NABLE works to do best: make 3D printed prosthetic hands through community effort. They will be building prosthetic hands for local people in need.

“We will set up a production line of 3D printers at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), supplying the components for building prosthetic hands for local people in need,” Sofia Sigroth, Media Relations Officer for FACT, told 3DPrint.com. “Visitors will be asked to help assemble the prosthetics, offering an insight to the benefits and opportunities that come with both 3D printing and open source projects, and will also be able to try out the hand.”

Setup, facilitation, and technical support will be provided by Ross Dalziel, Patrick Fenner and Adrian McEwen. DoES Liverpool has already recently been responsible for providing an eight-year-old girl with the ability to 3D print herself a prosthetic hand.

e-Nable will provide all the ‘blueprints’ for the 3D printing of the prosthetic hands, with the whole point being to inspire and show event-goers how accessibility to 3D printing along with the amazing worldwide open-source network can literally change lives and communities.

When it comes to the world of prosthetics, 3D printing is surely gaining ground, and there are thousands who couldn’t be more thrilled. Not limited just to humans, 3D printed prosthetics are now also being made for our pets more commonly, along with farm animals, waterfowl, and more.en

As we’ve seen the technology of 3D printing being slowly spread to developing countries—mainly by e-NABLE, it’s often employed in hospitals along with traditional technology. 3D printing is often able to come in where other methods fail, and are also too expensive or unable to offer the customizations available through digital design and 3D printing.

Some other exhibits will be:

  • Will Shannon and Assemble’s Homework, will set up a casting factory in a domestic space—in a true exploration of the DIY theme at home.
  • Linda Brothwell’s Acts of Care: Liverpool Edition, creating paving slabs with an influence from Polish paper-cutting techniques and patterns, with the slabs actually being incorporated into a Liverpool street.
  • Rachel Rayns’ Neurotic Machines should prove be an interesting endeavor involving the Internet of Things, with a a Raspberry Pi greenhouse – inspiring us to how we can take care of our gardens through human to computer networking.

The projects will be showcased through the FACT exhibition at FACT, with other displays and programs, including those for younger students, taking place through the area.

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