Malanga Hospital uses 3D printer to print prosthetics

News • Medical • Ultimaker

Sierra Leone project

The 3D lab at Masanga Hospital in Sierra Leone marks a turning point in the medical world thanks to the recent addition of a new Ultimaker S5. This advanced and large 3D printer unlocks unprecedented possibilities, particularly the manufacturing of lower limb prostheses. This initiative, a breakthrough in technological innovation, offers new hope to those in dire need.

New Possibilities

The Ultimaker S5 is central to an effort to make affordable prostheses accessible. By employing this technology, we are now able to offer sustainable solutions to individuals who would otherwise have given up hope for mobility. This project illustrates how technological progress can have a direct and positive impact on individual lives and communities as a whole.

Battery Back-up system

A crucial aspect of this success story is the battery backup system, developed by Lay3rs and SPARK Makers Zone. This system ensures that the production of prostheses can continue uninterrupted, even in areas where the power supply is often unstable. As a result, the 3D lab can operate 24 hours a day without the hindrance of power outages, a critical factor in regions where every second counts in providing life-changing assistance.

Life Changing

The impact of this project was recently illustrated when the first participant received his 3D printed lower limb prosthesis. After living ten years without a prosthesis, this individual was finally able to take steps again. This moment was not only a milestone for the recipient but also symbolized the promise of 3D printing technology as a means to change lives.

Merel Van der Stelt and Lars Brouwers, the driving forces behind this project, continue their research with the aim of further improving the prostheses. Their commitment is focused on enhancing the quality of life for their patients. By focusing on adjustments and improvements, they strive to make each prosthesis better suited to the individual needs and circumstances of the users.

A shift in the medical industry

The addition of The Ultimaker S5 to the 3D lab in Sierra Leone represents more than just technological advancement; it symbolizes a paradigm shift in how we think about support and assistance. The ability to manufacture customized, affordable, and sustainable prostheses on-site can redefine access to essential care worldwide.

This project also illustrates the importance of collaboration between different organizations and experts. By joining forces, Lay3rs, SPARK Makers Zone, and Masanga Hospital can provide innovative solutions that go beyond traditional methods. It underscores the role technology can play in bridging the gap between need and accessibility in healthcare.

The Promise of 3D printing

Looking forward, it is clear that the work of Merel Van der Stelt, Lars Brouwers, and their colleagues is just the beginning of a broader initiative to improve the quality of life through technological innovation. With each success story, the promise of 3D printing technology in the medical world grows, not only in Sierra Leone but also in other parts of the world where access to healthcare is limited.

Sierra Leone

De Ultimaker S5

The Ultimaker S5 is designed to print continuously and maximize uptime. Its outstanding technical specifications deliver performance you can rely on. The Ultimaker S5 aids in your success and is part of the complete Ultimaker 3D printing solution: a solution trusted by hundreds of thousands of professionals worldwide.

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Sierra Leone is a Dutch project established in 2018 to improve prosthetic facilities in Low- and Middle-income Countries. In collaboration with the 3D-Lab at the Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, we set up a pilot 3D laboratory in Masanga Hospital in rural Sierra Leone. Exploring 3D-scanning and -printing techniques to locally manufacture affordable prosthetic aids that meet the necessary standard.