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Conference to Highlight Efforts to Provide Inexpensive 3D-Printed Prostheses

Several nationally recognized organizations are coming together to sponsor a full-day conference that will highlight and mainstream the work of e-NABLE, an online volunteer community of humanitarian technologists that is leading the way by designing, building, and disseminating inexpensive 3D-printed prostheses.

The conference, titled Prosthetists Meet 3D Printers, is set for Sunday, September 28, in the Turner Auditorium Concourse at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. It will bring together thought-leaders in medicine, industry, and public policy for a groundbreaking event that will culminate in several children with upper-limb disabilities receiving donated 3D prostheses.

“This should be a watershed event for the prosthetics and 3D-printing industries, as well as for volunteers, academics, and policymakers helping to democratize access and accelerate innovation in prosthetics and humanitarian technological collaboration,” said Jon Schull, founder of e-NABLE.

Custom prosthetic devices can cost upwards of $30,000. However, using 3D printers and collaboratively produced non-proprietary designs, e-NABLE members have developed functional hands and forearms that can be 3D-printed for about $50, making them accessible to a wider population, especially those who cannot afford the higher cost. To further accelerate innovation and dissemination, the conference includes hands-on workshops that will help prosthetists and parents fabricate and assemble devices themselves.

Schull, a research scientist at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Media, Games, Art, Interaction and Creativity, will talk about how the e-NABLE project hopes to provide prostheses for children and underserved populations around the world using its new approach to crowd-sourced humanitarian innovation.

The event will also showcase presentations by medical and industry leaders and innovators, as well as by children and adults who use prosthetic devices.

The event is open to the public, and registration will be free for children, parents, recipients, and the press. A discounted rate is available for professionals.

To purchase tickets, view the schedule, and more, visit http://enabling3dpp2014.sched.org.

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