2020 began like any other year, travelling, meetings, deadlines, socials, and the usual busyness of life. But three months into the year everything changed dramatically in ways none of us could have ever imagined.
We were faced with a global health and economic pandemic and what we soon realised was we were all in the same storm, but not necessarily in the same boat. Everyone was forced to find their survival mechanisms within the unfamiliar world we were thrown into.
Whilst trying to keep loved ones safe, we had to find innovative solutions to keep the company sustainable. It was time to be brave, to make a difference, to be innovative, to do something.
We used the time during the hard lockdown to explore and print 3D printed face masks, this sparked the beginning of two new projects, a new social development project for children who suffered amputation of their upper limbs and the printing of custom designed prosthetic covers.
After much trial and error and many designs later, our 3D prototype hand was completed. The parts are digitally modelled to fit a specific patient, allowing us to produce unique parts which are custom made to suit each individual’s needs.
We are also able to reprint any part of a hand if it breaks or is damaged. The prosthetic hand will allow children from disadvantaged communities to be fitted with a 3D printed hand enabling them to participate in school and sport activities.
The 3D hand will also be available to adults who have suffered partial hand and trans radial amputations. Due to costs involved of traditional prosthetic devices many amputees cannot afford a functional prosthesis. The 3D hand will increase access due to the cost effectiveness.
Working on the 3D hand project we recognized that every prosthetic user has different aesthetic needs for their prosthetic devices.
The world of prosthetics has changed significantly over the passing years, many amputees today are proud to show off their prosthetics making a fashion statement. This led to us exploring and printing numerous designs of cosmetic prosthetic covers using hydrographic water coating.
For three months we spent hours and hours in front of the dipping tank turning out failure after failure, but quitting was not an option. When inter provincial travel was allowed it meant we could participate in professional training opportunities to master the art of hydrographic coating.
Hereafter, we fitted our first hydrographic socket for Springbok surfer, JP Veaudry. Being able to witness and share in his utter joy and delight to wear a leg with the design of his choice, was priceless and made all those hours spent on this new craft, so worth it.
We believe that 2020 provided the time we needed to improve our service offering, adapt to a new world, and ensure that we passionately pursue to make custom prosthetic devices more accessible for everyone.