3D Printing Hope: the design challenge that brings solutions in Veterans’ Lives
The story happened in Tel Aviv from April 30 to May 2. The 72-hour “Makers for Heroes Make-a-Thon” event aimed to develop devices and find solutions for different challenges veterans face as a result of injuries received while in service.
Sponsored by Stratasys and organized by the non-profit organization RESTART, active in supporting veterans in restoring their lives, the event welcomed veterans from the U.S., France and Israel. Teams comprised representatives a wide range of companies: designers, programmers, engineers, physiotherapists, medical doctors, and psychologists; all of them sharing tips to address issues faced by veterans.
The truth is that “while the veterans come from different armies, their feelings are universal. Each suffers similar frustrations from their injuries. Henri served in the French Army Patrol and lives with a severe leg injury from service in Afghanistan. He was looking for a solution, such as a cast or other equipment that would help him function better regularly, improve his walking and reduce his constant pain. Zarita, 33, Injured shortly after returning from Afghanistan during extreme training, had a car accident while traveling to her duty station. Before she was injured, Zarita loved to dance, and she wished to recover this favorite form of expression. Due to her conditions, she suffers from dizzy spells and could no longer dance for fear of falling and injuring herself. She needed a stabilizing dance “companion” that would allow her to move freely, yet prevent her from falling.”
The good news is that “3D printing is the perfect fit for this type of endeavor.” The capacity to produce customized and personalized designs enable to offer a judicious solution to most of these veterans. That’s what the event achieved with the help of a custom support device.
Such type of event certainly brought satisfaction to those who were looking for real solutions to address their daily life challenge and hope to those who are still looking for solutions. Zarita is a good illustration since she is now capable of dancing as shown in this video.
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