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Out of all 3D printing opportunities possible now, the creation of prosthetic limbs for war veterans and other injured people is a very promising field. However, it's also creating a bit of a battle between the larger prosthetic limb companies and those creating them on their own. What makes this prosthetic limb competition interesting is the ones people are printing on their own are being considered more useful than the expensive, professional ones.
Even more enticing here is that those making prosthetic limbs on 3D printers are poised to make money from them as a business venture. One case from Oregon is already proving how 3D printing can turn your own home into its own manufacturing plant.
Creating Prosthetic Limbs Through a Volunteer Group
In Portland, Oregon recently, a 3D printer enthusiast named Sashi Jain created a prosthetic hand that he gave to a man named Jordan Nickerson who lost his own hand. The two met at a Portland convention and teamed up together to help perfect Jain's prosthetic hand so it's a workable prototype for not only Nickerson, but also others.
It's all part of a worldwide organization called E-Nabling the Future that's providing a digital network to give basic designs and suggestions in creating prosthetic limbs on 3D printers. Jain, above, used this network to gain basic designs without necessarily detracting from implementing his own creativity. Through the network, people can seek cheaper prosthetic limbs that are a fraction of the cost of professional ones costing multiple thousands of dollars.
By going this route, you can see why major companies producing prosthetic limbs are no doubt showing concern. Regardless, 3D printing may also be acquired by those major companies soon as they realize how much money can be saved in production costs.
Overall, the marketplace for prosthetic limbs is shaping up to be a free and open environment where everyone can find a prosthetic limb to suit their own needs. 3D printing will provide that opportunity to those who want to start a business out of their own home. In fact, 3D printers will likely be in every household before the end of the decade, enabling more businesses in the home than the economy has ever seen.
More so, helping our injured war vets receive limbs that give them a better quality of life makes 3D printing a truly world-changing event. What more of a gift can 3D printing give than to help our veterans live more comfortably?
The balance of art, commerce, and true usefulness are soon converging as 3D printing becomes the most noteworthy technological advancement of the 21st century.