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Wohlers Associates, Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BAGHDAD, IRAQ, February 15, 2006—The humanitarian project RP4Baghdad completed and delivered its first leg prosthetic for a below-the-knee amputee in Baghdad, Iraq last month. The project is being supported by organizations in the rapid prototyping and manufacturing industry including Materialise, Medical Modeling LLC, Stratasys, Z Corporation, REALADI, 3D Systems, EOS, and Wohlers Associates.
RP4Baghdad, launched in May 2005 by Wilfried Vancraen of Materialise, has focused on serious cases involving head injuries among civilians in Iraq. Many medical models have been produced and shipped to Baghdad to support teams of doctors with complex reconstructive surgeries of the head and face. To date, the initiative has supported 27 cases, many of which are underway.
Last year, the RP4Baghdad began to explore the possibility of also producing leg prosthetics for many of the hundreds of unfortunate Iraqi citizens. In August 2005, more than 300 civilians were on a waiting list for an artificial leg at one of three medical centers in Baghdad. It is believed that scores of others have not registered for a prosthetic because of the extensive backlog.
REALADI of St. Charles, Missouri produced the first leg prosthetic for the individual in Iraq. The company, which started out as a Boeing incubator and spun out in January 2005, provides digitally driven product development services to the automotive, aerospace, and medical industries. REALADI has developed a proprietary process for producing leg prosthetics using additive fabrication technology. Bill Macy of REALADI (http://www.realadi.com), the lead for the company’s prosthetic work, is pursuing sources of funding for the work in Iraq.
For more information on RP4Baghdad, visit http://www.rp4baghdad.org.
Wohlers Associates is a 19-year old consulting firm that provides technical and strategic advice on the new developments and trends in rapid product development and additive fabrication for design, prototyping, and manufacturing applications.