3D PrintAbility

For many, receiving a prosthetic limb is a difficult task, with cost and time being primary obstacles to proper fit and comfort. This problem is especially apparent in the developing world, where there are fewer trained prosthetists per patient than in elsewhere. This problem also disproportionately affects children, as their naturally high growth rate means they outgrow sockets within months.

printAbility is a project aimed at solving this problem, and works with children in Uganda. The goal of the project is to scan and 3D-print fully-customized and low-cost below-the-knee sockets for children at all stages in their development. This project has been featured in The Toronto Star, BBC News, and on The Nature of Things, and is supported by CBM Canada and Grand Challenges Stars in Global Health.

 

Project Updates


Matt Ratto speaks at Cybera cyber summit in Banff by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Nov 24th, 2016

"The Cyber Summit provides a unique opportunity to engage with like-minded technology leaders in Western Canada’s public and education spaces"

Matt Ratto spoke at the Cybera Cyber Summit, which was held at the Banff Centre on October 26-28, 2016. His talk, abstract below,...

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Nia Technologies brings 3D prosthetic printing to developing countries by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Apr 21st, 2016

Working to establish expertise in developing countries

U of T News - "According to the World Health Organization, approximately 30 million people in low-income countries require prosthetic limbs, braces or other assistive...

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Nia and Vorum partner to deliver 3D-printed prosthetics to children in developing countries by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Apr 8th, 2016

Vorum provides software to help Nia Technologies boost output of overtaxed orthopaedic technologists

Canadian non-profit social enterprise Nia Technologies will integrate Vorum’s CanfitTM 3D design software into its 3D PrintAbility solution. 3D PrintAbility is...

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Accessibili-UT Showcase by Phoenix Wilkie

Posted on Dec 3rd, 2015

Celebrating the research community's work in accessibility

On Monday, November 30th, PhD Candidate Daniel Southwick (Faculty of Information) and Research Associate Josh Qua Hiansen (Semaphore) attended "Accessibili-UT," an afternoon event designed to...

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Matt Ratto and printAbility at TEDxUofT by Asiya Atcha

Posted on May 7th, 2014

Without a leg to stand on -- 3D printing prosthetics: Matt Ratto at TEDxUofT

Matt Ratto is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University...

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printAbility Project on the BBC by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Feb 9th, 2015

Prosthetic limbs made by U of T researchers

BBC News (Health) - Catherine Byaruhanga reports from Uganda.

Click here for the full video.

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printAbility Project in Uganda by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Feb 17th, 2015

Semaphore's researchers provide world’s first functional 3D-printed prosthetic legs to Ugandans

CBC News - Canadian researchers and a 3D printer are making medical history in Uganda.

The Canadian team from the University of Toronto recently helped...

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printAbility Team featured on CBC by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Jan 15th, 2015

A University of Toronto professor is teaming up with an international charity and a hospital in Uganda to use 3D...

Click here for the full article.

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Matt Ratto and PrintAbility project in The Toronto Star by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Jan 9th, 2015

U of T researchers and a Canadian charity are teaming up to train Ugandan technicians to 3D-print artificial limb sockets

Matt Ratto, an associate professor at University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information, is a big believer in the Chinese proverb: “Give a man a...

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Inside the 3D Printed Limb Factory by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Dec 8th, 2014

Making the fake parts is easy, but getting these limbs in the right hands takes a cultural, not just a...

FAST COMPANY - Inside the University of Toronto's brutalist concrete library, there is a room filled with human limbs. Not real limbs, but 3-D-printed lower-leg prosthetics....

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Matt Ratto at MIT - Learning to Make :: Making to Learn by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Nov 10th, 2014

Matt Ratto spoke at the MIT Dept of Architecture, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014

Semaphore’s own Matt Ratto spoke at the MIT Department of Architecture on Friday November 14th, 2014, as part of the Computation Group Lecture...

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Artificial limbs from the 3D printer by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Aug 6th, 2014

Matt Ratto discusses the PrintAbility project with The Frankfurter Allgemaine

Künstliche Gliedmaßen aus dem 3D-Drucker

FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE - Justine musste fast ihr ganzes, noch nicht allzu langes Leben ohne Beine auskommen. Sie hatte sie kurz...

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Using 3-D printing to address the need for prosthetics in Uganda by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Jan 18th, 2014

Easy-to-use 3-D scanning and printing technology would enable quick creation of a large pool of people capable of generating prosthetic...

WASHINGTON POST - "There’s a striking lack of individuals in the developing world who are capable of making good prosthetic limbs. The World Health Organization...

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Toronto professor turns to 3-D printing to help Ugandan child amputees by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Jan 18th, 2014

“The model is printed on a hobbyist level 3-D printer. A key part of this is to keep cost down,”...

THE GLOBE AND MAIL - A University of Toronto professor has teamed up with an international charity and a hospital in Uganda to try to...

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U of T team works to create 3D-printed limbs for Ugandan children by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Jan 17th, 2014

As Christina Stevens reports, the limbs are transforming lives a world away.

GLOBAL NEWS – "Consumer-grade 3D printers have been used to create everything from guns to edible candy; but a team at the University of Toronto...

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Wearable Tech and 3D Printing Used to Hack Health in Toronto This Weekend by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Nov 23rd, 2013

Semaphore participates in Hacking Health, using 3D printing to tackle healthcare issues

TECH VIBES - "Over the weekend Hacking Health wrapped up its second Toronto-based Hackathon, bringing together developers, designers and healthcare professionals to improve healthcare through...

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Matt Ratto and Semaphore Featured on The Nature of Things (Oct. 23) by Amy Ratelle

Posted on Oct 21st, 2014

Today, scientists are applying 3D printing technology to the field of medicine

CBC - "We live in a world where technology is constantly changing. Sadly you know as you leave the store, that your brand new SmartPhone...

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First prototypes of felt liners for sockets by ginger coons

Posted on Sep 6th, 2014

Sockets get liners which can be made by hand, from locally-sourced material.

Early experiments with the production of felt socket liners are looking good. Based on patterns generated from 3D models of residual limbs, fabric can be...

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Scanning, modelling & printing—An experimental toolchain for prosthetics by ginger coons

Posted on Sep 6th, 2014

First event in the Critical Making Lab Workshop Series uses desktop fabrication tools to make custom prostheses.

"Scanning, modelling & printing—An experimental toolchain for prosthetics," the first workshop in the Critical Making Lab Workshop Series, will take place Thursday, the 18th of...

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