A prosthetics lab powered by 3-D printers

The scientists at Not Impossible Labs use affordable 3-D printed prosthetics to help victims of carpet bombings in South Sudan.


I volunteer for a group called Not Impossible.

They call me their chief mad scientist.

We did a really great project with 3D printing called Project Daniel.

And it was all centered around, uh, a young man in the Sudan, who had had both of his arms blown off in a bombing.

Mick Ebeling, who's the founder of Not Impossible, read about Daniel in They were doing a story about just the devastation that's going on in this area of southern Sudan where this place is being routinely carpet bombed.

We came together and we tried to come up with a solution to the problem that involved technology.

And we wanted to develop prosthetics that would be usable, that would be functional, that would be helpful and would also be able to be developed by the people in the region.

One by one, all of the sort of tools or devices or things that other people -- that had worked elsewhere, which is not going to work in this region that had no resources and was just being routinely bombed.

And so we thought, 'Okay, we're going to have to bring stuff in.'

Um, and that was when we came up with the concept of 3D printing.

Mick took a small team out into the Sudan and, uh, out to this hospital and, um, set up a self-sustaining prosthetics clinic.

He taught the locals how to print their own prosthetics.

And there's been about -- an arm per week has been printed out of this lab.

You know, it's just really an example of how 3D printing has been able to innovate an entire area and really give people a lot of function back.