An entrepreneur based in Ontario, Canada is intending to travel to India in order to allow people in a remote community there to gain access to the breakthroughs that 3D printing technology has brought to prosthetics.
Jerry Ennett, founder of Taurus 3D in the city of Stratford, is heading to the small village of Ayikudi in southern India, where he will be training staff at the Amar Seva Sangam rehab clinic. Departing from Canada on Nov. 14, Ennett will bring with him two 3D printers. The staff there will soon be able to use 3D printing technology to create custom-fitted prosthetics onsite, which should allow people in the region to continue employment in the dominant agricultural industry. He has also designed a special prosthetic attatchment that can enable farming tools to be used with the 3D printed devices.
“There will be five days of training, design training and technical skills training, and then a few days of case study work where we find a patient that could benefit and document the case study – hopefully two or three of those,” Ennett said. “I’m also brining a documentary filmmaker so we can document that and maybe distribute that film to other clinics.”
“The biggest problem in these remote regions is there are no printers and there’s no education there. So we’re bringing and donating the 3D printer for them and the materials, and then as patients come in, through emails they can send me photos and I can design a device and then email them the design file back, and then all they have to do is print it off,” Ennett said. “This clinic has to turn down about 16-20 amputees each month, who then have to take weeks off work to go to Chennai or Mumbai to where the nearest clinic is. So our goal is to initially serve those 16-20 patients every month.”
Ennett received $25,000 in funding for his initiative, by winning top prize in the World Vision Social Innovation and Design Challenge competition and an additional $8,000 from the University of Guelph. He is continuing to raise money by hosting 3D printing workshops for kids.