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We Need Your Help

January 6, 2007

Filed under: additive manufacturing,life — Terry Wohlers @ 10:14

You may have heard of the humanitarian project called RP4Baghdad. The project was first discussed here in the September 24, 2005 blog commentary. It is a project of the additive fabrication (a.k.a., rapid prototyping) industry with a purpose of helping severely injured Iraqi civilians. Its main focus has been on the production of medical models to assist surgeons with head and face injuries. To date, the project has helped more than 100 individuals in Iraq.

The violence in Iraq that we read about almost daily is an indication of the need for this effort. If the need continues, we hope that the project will be there to assist. However, we need your help. A special letter was distributed recently, asking for assistance. Perhaps you received it. I urge you to read it and respond accordingly.

We are hoping to expand RP4Baghdad to include the production of prosthetic limbs for below-the-knee amputees. We have completed three test cases in Baghdad and each was successful. Almost everything is in place to produce many more, including an experienced prosthetist and the production capabilities. However, we need the standard component parts for the prosthetic limbs. The custom socket, which attaches to these parts, is produced using additive fabrication technology. If you know of a company that may be willing to provide these parts, please send them my way or contact anyone from the steering committee.

RP4Baghdad is an opportunity to help those in need. Sixteen months ago, more than 350 people with a missing leg were on a waiting list at one medical center in Baghdad. The need clearly exists and we have the technology and know-how to make a difference. We only need some additional support. You can learn much more about the project at RP4Baghdad.org.