We are passionate about showcasing how 3D printing can be used to create solutions to real world problems which benefit people and the planet. That is why we started our Enviromaker initiatives and a portion of all profits directly support these projects around innovation, education, and medicine. As a fellow Canadian organization, Victoria Hand Project (VHP) shares this goal. That is why we decided that we had to team up with them and show our support. VHP is a non-profit who has developed their very own 3D printable prosthesis. Through partnerships with local prosthetists around the world in developing countries, they print and donate custom made prosthetic hands to locals. For the month of June, $5 from the sale of every spool of Print Your Mind 3D filament will be directly donated to VHP. Our goal is to raise $800 which is enough to fully fit two amputees with their Victoria Hands in the developing world. There is no better time to stock up on filaments and create a difference at the same time!
Learn more about Victoria Hand Project and how your support will help them expand their incredible work:
The initial prototype for the Victoria Hand was designed for Nick Dechev’s Masters at the University of Toronto. The hand was ground-breaking because it had ‘adaptive grasp’ which allowed the hand to conform around objects. The manufacturing costs of the hand were too high to make the design feasible so it sat on a shelf until 3D printing came along. In early 2015 the first research trials were completed in Guatemala with the Range of Motion Project to receive feedback from amputees and expert prosthetists. In the following months, more trials were completed in Guatemala as the hand design was updated to make it more functional and aesthetically pleasing. The hand is completely 3D printed in-country by locals and is fit by a certified prosthetist. Victoria Hand Project (VHP) provides Ultimaker 3D printers, a 3D scanner, and training for the locals. The hand has a ball-and-socket wrist to allow the hand to rotate to many positions, a back-lock so the hand can remain closed even when not being actuated, adaptive grasp, a rotatable thumb, and a custom 3D printed forearm socket. VHP began expanding to Ecuador, Nepal, and Cambodia through grants from Grand Challenges Canada and to Haiti through a partnership with Enable Community Foundation. Local amputees in Victoria, BC have also received a Victoria Hand to help provide personal feedback and to test the capabilities of the hand. Most recently the Victoria Hand Project has partnered with locals in Egypt to begin deploying there.
In February 2017, the Victoria Hand Project received news from Google that they had been chosen as a top 10 finalist in the Google Impact Challenge. They were selected from over 900 applicants across Canada. The competition provided funding to Canadian non-profits helping the world using ground-breaking technology. The Impact Challenge also involved a social media campaign for the public to vote for the project they liked the most. This social media campaign was very helpful to VHP by spreading word about the project and bringing in donations to provide arms to amputees. Victoria Hand Project was fortunate enough to receive $250,000 in funding to support the advance of the technology and to help more people across the world. Using this money they will help their 5 existing countries, expand to Egypt and another unselected country, and deploy arms to 300 people in these 7 countries.