Nia Technologies is a non-profit Canadian Social Enterprise dedicated to developing high quality prosthetics for children with disabilities in developing countries. What’s unique is that these prosthetics are being developed with 3D printing technology. The technology developed by Nia is called 3D PrintAbility. It combines 3D scanning, modeling, and printing to create custom lower limb prosthetics. 3D PrintAbility was developed in collaboration with Matt Ratto of the Semaphore Research Cluster, at the University of Toronto.
3D PrintAbility can be used to scan a specific patient’s limb and create a functional prosthetic in as little as one and a half days. Nia currently creates transtibial (below-the-knee) prosthetic sockets and ankle-foot braces. Nia’s prosthetics are made from Ninjaflex high strength nylon.
Nia has used 3D PrintAbility to develop prosthetic sockets for children living in developing countries. The prosthetics were tested in Uganda in 2015 on a group of 40 children, and Nia will return there this year with more prosthetic designs to test. It is estimated that there are more than 250,000 children in Uganda who require prosthetics. They hope to expand to helping children in other countries in the future.
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