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News & Press: MPMA News

Stratasys Takes Lead in 'Makers for Heroes Make-a-Thon'

Monday, May 14, 2018  
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MPMA member, Stratasys, sponsored and took part in a 72-hour “Makers for Heroes Make-a-Thon” event in Tel Aviv. The event sought to develop devices and find solutions for various challenges veterans face as a result of injuries received while in service.

Solutions were tailored to participating veterans’ needs, with a variety of professionals sharing skills to address particular challenges faced by each veteran. The event was organized by RESTART, a non-profit organization that aids veterans with physical disabilities by helping them disengage from the injury cycle and restore their lives. An additional partner, Challenge America, assisted wounded veterans from the U.S.

The first-of-its-kind international Make-a-Thon brought together wounded veterans from the U.S., France and Israel, with innovation teams using 3D printing and other design and fabrication processes. Teams included representatives from companies including designers, programmers, engineers, physiotherapists, medical doctors, and psychologists. The event was held April 30 to May 2 at Impact Labs, a technological community center for product development, in Tel Aviv.

Helping one veteran by finding a solution can often assist many others with similar problems. The event’s goal was to create 3D printed solutions that could be later developed into products for wider use. Following the event, solutions that serve a wider need may be developed for replicable products through the TOM Platform (Tikkun Olam Makers Platform) worldwide. TOM develops and distributes affordable products for people with a range of disabilities.

The event’s goal was to create 3D printed solutions that could be later developed into products for wider use. Following the event, solutions that serve a broader need may be developed for replicable products through the TOM Platform (Tikkun Olam Makers Platform) worldwide. TOM produces and distributes affordable products for people with a range of disabilities.

While the veterans come from different armies, their feelings are universal. They seek solutions ranging from prosthetics to wheelchairs to balancing devices. By the time the event concluded, all 12 of the teams had put forth potential solutions for the veterans.

Stratasys’s Team Noam built a product for customizing a wheelchair with the balance needed for playing tennis. This goal was accomplished by designing a removable counterweight that attaches to the chair when needed. The design mimics the weight distribution of a leg.

The solution was built by using a 3D scan of a veteran's sitting position. Several iterations of the design were printed until the right model was constructed. The team used FDM thermoplastic covered with breathing fabric and memory foam.