Feb. 26, 2016 | By Kira

Thanks to a recently signed memorandum of understanding between Eastman Chemical Company and Chung-Ang University in Seoul, Korea, children in need across Asia will soon have easier access to 3D printed prosthetic hands. These custom-fitted devices, designed to improve their quality of life, are to be made with Eastman Amphora 3D polymer, a durable, food-safe, and styrene free 3D printing material that holds up to a wide range of demanding applications, from home appliances to electronics to medical prosthetics.

The 3D printed prosthetics will be made at Chung-Ang University’s new 'Creative Factory,' a facility outfitted with a range of 3D printers for both faculty and students to create with. Leaders from Eastman were on-site during the grand opening ceremony of the Creative Factory, and later signed the memorandum of agreement (MOU) in order to bring this inspiring initiative to life. Once the prosthetics have been made, Eastman and Chung-Ang will collaborate with an NGO to coordinate the distribution and fitting for children in need.

Eastman Chemical Company is a globally recognized leader in the field of specialty chemical products and materials. In 2014, Eastman introduced Amphora 3D polymer, an advanced thermoplastic that is low-odor, styrene free, and remarkably strong. Eastman Amphora also complies with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations for food-contact applications—an important consideration for 3D printed prosthetics, which must be as safe for daily use as possible.

Additional attributes include clarity and gloss, dimensional stability, ease of processing, enhanced aesthetics, excellent toughness and temperature resistance, and workability. Currently, four commercial companies sell high-quality 3D printing filaments made with Eastman Amphora 3D polymer: colorFABB, which offers both colorFABB XT and n-GEN; taulman3D’s n-vent, TripTech Plastics’ Athiri 1800, and 3DxTech’s 3DXNano.

According to Dante Rutstrom, vice president and managing director of Eastman Asia Pacific, all of these properties make Amphora an ideal material for producing 3D printed prosthetics for children in need. “Eastman is committed to making a difference in the communities where we operate and improving the well-being of the people who live in those communities,” said Rutstrom. “That’s why this opportunity to work with Chung-Ang University is so exciting. We look forward to the day when children will have their lives empowered through the work that will be done at the Creative Factory.”

Though the company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, Eastman is a globally diverse company, with manufacturing and technical centers around the world, and roughly 15,000 employees worldwide. In Asia, Eastman is present in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and of course, Korea.

The collaboration between Chung-Ang University and Eastman is truly multifaceted, in that not only will it provide children in need with durable, high-quality 3D printed prosthetics, but it will also give Chung-Ang University students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in 3D printing using advanced and industry-recognized filaments. Initiatives such as this, as well as the work of volunteer-based companies such as e-NABLE, are bringing awareness to the true power of 3D printing to solve real-world problems and improve our lives.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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