A. Sue Weisler
Millions of people in impoverished countries need prosthetics. Helping to meet that need is Jade Myers, an RIT alumna and lab manager at the RIT Access Technology Prototyping Lab. Myers has also done work as a research associate with LimbForge, an international nonprofit designing culturally appropriate and affordable 3D-printed prosthetic devices.
Myers told the story of Danie, a young girl she met during a trip to Haiti, where the health care system is stretched amid poverty and the lingering effects of a 2010 earthquake and a recent hurricane. The situation can be dire for individuals who have lost limbs—and as a result, their livelihoods.
Danie was 13 when the earthquake hit, destroying her home and killing her mother. Danie’s arm was pinned under a concrete wall. It was hours before neighbors attempted a rescue, and she ended up amputating her own limb to free herself. It would be days before she received care at a make-shift hospital.
Myers fit Danie with a forearm prosthetic. She has kept in touch with the young woman over the years, watching her successfully rebuild her life.
Limb Forge, made up of developer-researchers such as Myers, evolved from the earlier e-Nable initiative. Limb Forge creates 3D-printed prosthetics, but with newer materials and more sophisticated, life-like designs, in a process that’s faster and more cost-effective than traditional manufacturing. Several engineering and industrial design students created an elbow joint with improved flexibility. Another group tests prosthetics resistance to heat, UV light and moisture. The company makes available computer programs for clinicians to input measurements to configure and produce limbs of proper dimensions with varying skin tones.
As part of the company’s global outreach, training to use the program and printers is included. Myers helped train clinicians at Haiti’s Healing Hands Clinic to use the six 3D-printers donated by Limb Forge.
“3D technologies have the potential to solve a world problem that has been in existence for so long. But, now we can actually do something to change that,” she said. “I know this could work, and it’s my responsibility to make it work—and I have seen firsthand how it has changed Dani’s life.”
April 24, 2019
Running in Circles: Engineering students build Human Hamster Wheel
The big wheel will turn, but the hamsters will be humans instead. Students in RIT’s Engineering House built a Human Hamster Wheel, and instead of running in circles, as the cliché goes, their 7-foot wheel will produce electricity. Open to children and adults, the wheel will be one of many interactive exhibits featured at this year’s Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival on April 27.
April 23, 2019
Drones are coming soon to a farm near you
Drones are adding a new level of precision to agriculture, giving farmers digital tools for cultivating better and more profitable crops.
April 23, 2019
Packaging solutions improve product shelf life and sustainability
Images of plastic bags and bottles clogging beaches and oceans have some calling for a ban on all such products. But packaging experts say it’s not that easy to eliminate a highly effective material. Instead, researchers at RIT are looking to strike a balance: Find a way to produce plastics that retain their best qualities and yet are more environmentally friendly.
April 23, 2019
The Story Behind the 2019 TIME 100 Covers
Time features Pari Dukovic ’06 (professional photographic illustration), who shot the covers of the 2019 Time 100 issue.