As a growing technology, we are still exploring the myriad potential applications for 3D printing and rapid prototyping. Arguably some of the most promising work in the field explores how 3D printing can be used for social good. Field Ready is a humanitarian aid nonprofit organisation “bringing 3D printing to the healthcare space for developing countries.”
“By co-creating with medical workers in Haiti, Field Ready identified medical tools and parts that could be 3D printed to meet localized demand.”
One example that the organisation has explored is an umbilical cord clamp. “Given the lack of sterile tools and training, newborns may suffer from a high rate of infections or postnatal umbilical sepsis. Typically, birthing attendants will use what is available to them—ranging from shoelaces to the improper use of a sterile string. Even when using a hygienic cord, the risks are high from improper use—either tying too tight and severing the cord, or tying too loose and causing hemorrhaging.” 3D printing provided the opportunity to address this problem by creating simple and intuitive 3D printed alternatives.
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