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How 3D Printers Are Helping Save Lives in Haiti

How 3D Printers Are Helping Save Lives in Haiti

Written by Derek Markham

The effects of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 are still affecting the work of aid groups and health care workers, but they’re now getting some help from an unconventional source: 3D printers.

A project called iLab Haiti, which is an initiative of Kid Mob, has brought several MakerBot 3D printers to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and is using them to produce prototypes of certain basic medical supplies, such as umbilical cord clamps, on demand.

iLab Haiti, based at the Haiti Communitere facility, is currently using ABS plastic to print the devices, and while they aren’t quite a finished product yet, it’s hoped that further iterations will bring the devices up to medical standards.

In an interview with NPR, Ashley Dara from iLab Haiti gives some background to the project:

“… while I was in Haiti last year, a dear friend of mine was running a hospital all by herself with limited resources. One night she wound up having to deliver five babies and they had no umbilical cord clamps, so they were using their own rubber gloves, cutting them to tie off the umbilical cords, which meant that they went through their rubber gloves and had to then deliver babies barehanded with women that were HIV-positive.

And all I could think was, wow, if we had a 3-D printer, I could’ve been printing on-demand umbilical cord clamps for you.” – Dara

iLab Haiti is said to be looking for additional collaborators for their project, such as working with companies that have the technology to take recycled everyday plastics and turn them into useable 3D printer filament. The team hopes to be able to teach some locals how to model 3D objects and to repair the machines, which will give them further tools to come up with creative solutions to their pressing local problems.

This post originally appeared on TreeHugger

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Photo Credit: Kid Mob

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72 comments

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4:14AM PST on Jan 20, 2014

good

5:07AM PST on Jan 19, 2014

Pretty amazing. Love that the 3d printers can be used for good. Wish we could stop people from using them to print guns.

2:29AM PST on Jan 17, 2014

good, tks for posting

2:09AM PST on Jan 16, 2014

Horay

9:47PM PST on Jan 13, 2014

Interesting.

11:33AM PST on Jan 11, 2014

TY

4:28AM PST on Jan 9, 2014

Its amazing that printers can save lives in Haiti.

1:35AM PST on Jan 5, 2014

noted

1:15PM PST on Jan 3, 2014

fabulous

12:48PM PST on Jan 1, 2014

Interesting: seems as if it might be a good project to perfect.

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