Mar 7, 2018 | By Tess

One of the art world’s most famous amputees was fitted with two 3D printed prosthetic arms yesterday to promote the proliferation and accessibility of 3D printed prosthetics. The awareness stunt exhibited a replica of Venus de Milo, the armless statue housed in the Louvre, with two prosthetic arms strapped to her.

(Image: Thomas Dossus / Handicap International)

The installation was set up by Handicap International, a French aid organization that provides help and assistive devices to handicapped people in conflict areas. Visitors to the Louvre were greeted by the famous status replica at the Louvres-Rivoli metro station near the museum.

According to Handicap International, it also fitted other limbless statues with 3D printed prosthetics around Paris, including the “Alexandre Combattant” statue found in the Tuilleries Garden in front of the Louvre as part of its #BodyCantWait initiative.

The organization hopes that the campaign will raise awareness about the need for low-cost and accessible prosthetics in developing countries around the world. A staggering 100 million people require prosthetics of artificial limbs, the organization estimates.

Louvre Museum in Paris where the original Venus de Milo statue is housed

So far, Handicap International has made a tiny dent in that number, as it recently fitted 19 people in Togo, Syria, and Madagascar with 3D printed limbs. It also has upcoming plans to dispatch about 100 3D printed prosthetics in India.

Compared to traditional prosthetics, artificial limbs that are 3D printed offer a number of benefits. For one, they can be customized to the person in need more easily (whether by inputting measurements or capturing a 3D scan), they are faster to produce, and even have the potential to be less expensive.

Presently, Handicap International admits that its own resin-based 3D printed prosthetics are more expensive than conventionally made (low-cost) prosthetics, but it still believes that they are more accessible overall.

(Image: Christophe Archambault / AFP)

“We want to take this to the next level, bringing them to more countries and equipping more people,” said Xavier de Crest, head of Handicap International France, to AFP. “Before 3D printing, you had to make a plaster cast of the stump, adjust it four or five times, encase it in resin, things that required trained professionals and lots of equipment.”

“Now a tiny scanner can analyze the stump and transfer the measurements to modelling software, then to a 3D printer,” he added. “You save time and it's more practical, especially when we're working in a conflict zone like Syria.”

The recent #BodyCantWait campaign in Paris was coordinated by creative agency Hérézie, which reportedly took on the project for free. The statues with 3D printed prosthetics went on display yesterday, March 6.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Plusprinters wrote at 3/7/2018 11:07:24 AM:

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