3D Printing in Sierra Leone

Affordable Medical Aids: The Power of 3D Printing in Developing Countries

The global need for affordable medical aids is a pressing issue, especially in low- and middle-income countries like Sierra Leone where amputations often occur due to serious infections, complex wounds, traffic accidents, and a delayed patient presentation to the hospital. Despite this, purchasing a prosthesis is still beyond reach for most Sierra Leonean amputees.

In 2018, a team of pioneers established a pilot 3D lab at the Masanga Hospital in Sierra Leone to investigate the potential of 3D technology in addressing this need. The current measurement of the residual limb and the production of the socket of prostheses are performed manually using plaster molds, making the socket shape highly dependent on the experience and skills of the prosthetist and difficult to ensure quality. The 3D lab aims to change this by using 3D scanning and printing to produce low-cost prosthetics, making the production process consistent and faster.

To further streamline the process, the team is developing software using Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). Using previously obtained 3D scans from orthopedic companies in the Netherlands and machine learning, A.I. algorithms can be made to automate the prosthetic workflow. This will make the prosthetic fit less dependent on the prosthetist’s skills and allow for local people to be trained in a short period.

This groundbreaking work has now given birth to a foundation dedicated to bringing the power of 3D printing to developing countries. With the 3D lab at the Masanga Hospital leading the way, the future looks bright for those in need of affordable medical aids. By leveraging the latest in 3D printing technology and A.I., this initiative is set to make a real and tangible difference in the lives of people around the world.

Additive Manufacturing: Enabling Faster Industrial Growth in Africa

Additive manufacturing, often referred to as 3D printing, is an advanced manufacturing technology that is slowly but surely changing industrial production globally. While its adoption has gained significant traction in regions like Europe, America and Asia, Africa has only recently begun to recognize additive manufacturing’s value as a catalyst for economic development. The rise of additive manufacturing in Africa presents both opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed to unlock its full potential.

Additive manufacturing in Africa remains in its nascent stages, with limited adoption and infrastructure compared to more developed regions. According to a report in Manufacturing Review, between 2010 and 2018, 37% of industrial additive manufacturing systems were installed in…

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14Trees launches Iroko 3D printer for construction made in Africa

14 Trees, a joint venture (JV) between construction materials company Holcim and UK governmental development finance institution British International Investment (BII), has launched its new construction-ready three-dimensional (3D) printer, Iroko, to improve construction speed, cost and flexibility, while scaling up digital automation to build resilient and affordable housing, education infrastructure and commercial real estate worldwide.

The Iroko 3D construction printers were co-designed and manufactured with construction equipment company PMSA. The printers’ mobility and optimised assembly are key tenets of the design by 14Trees, it…

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There Is Greater Potential For 3D Printing In Africa

Bradley Pulford, VP and MD of HP Africa, outlines how digital manufacturing and 3D printing can support African economies. He also gives his predictions on the development of the digital manufacturing sector in 2021.

Africa started to deploy 3D printing over a decade ago and today there is even bigger potential for additive manufacturing on the continent. The rise in 3D printing also means that there is greater demand for customisation, meaning that manufacturers will need to…

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CRPM – Building Additive Manufacturing ecosystems in Botswana

The Central University’s Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (CRPM), once more managed to break more ground in their attempt to transfer Additive Manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) knowledge and skills, to industry and the community.

Through the Southern African Innovation Support (SAIS) initiative, funded from Finland through its Project Management office in Windhoek, Namibia a successful bid was made under the SAIS2 programme, to establish an Additive Manufacturing (AM) Ecosystem in Botswana, in collaboration with the University of Botswana (UB) and the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI)…

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