A new 3D printing venture is opening up in a remote village in India called Taurus 3D. The village, Ayikudi, could not only see job opportunities, but people in the area could also benefit from the product, prosthetic limbs.
For those living in the most rural and remote regions of India, the loss of an arm, or even a hand, can also mean the loss of one’s livelihood.
As much of the available employment in rural India is in farm labour, losing a limb and being unable to work can leave an entire family without the income it needs to survive for weeks on end. Although prosthetic limbs are available, rural residents often have to travel huge distances to rehab clinics in large urban centres to be fitted for one.
For at least one rural community, however, that may be changing as Jerry Ennett, the founder of Taurus 3D in Stratford, is preparing to travel to the town of Ayikudi in southern India to train staff at the Amar Seva Sangam rehab clinic to use 3D printing technology to create custom-fitted prosthetics onsite.
“There will be five days of training, design training and technical skills training, and then a few days of case study work where we find a patient that could benefit and document the case study – hopefully two or three of those,” Ennett said. “I’m also brining a documentary filmmaker so we can document that and maybe distribute that film to other clinics.”
Departing from Canada on Nov. 14, Ennett will bring with him two 3D printers – one that will be used for training purposes and will return to Canada with Ennett, while the other will be donated to the rehab clinic to facilitate the printing of prosthetic limbs.
“The biggest problem in these remote regions is there are no printers and there’s no education there. So we’re bringing and donating the 3D printer for them and the materials, and then as patients come in, through emails they can send me photos and I can design a device and then email them the design file back, and then all they have to do is print it off,” Ennett explained.
“This clinic has to turn down about 16-20 amputees each month, who then have to take weeks off work to go to Chennai or Mumbai to where the nearest clinic is. So our goal is to initially serve those 16-20 patients every month.”