In the Fablab Low Cost Prosthesis programme we develop the technology to produce a 'lower knee' prosthesis in line with the open innovation principles, so that end users, designers, researchers and manufacturers can arrive at product innovations by joint effort. The Fablab prosthesis programme has emerged as possible business case for the HONFablab in Jogyakarta, Indonesia. Fablab Yogyakarta could provide prostheses for two people per day. By doing so, it would empower the locals by creating new jobs and spread the orthopaedic knowledge.
The aim of this programme is to research how a developing country like Indonesia can become self-reliant in building prostheses. How can the Fablab infrastructure enhance and accelerate the production of ‘lower knee’ prostheses? One example is to develop a low-cost tool like an alignment laser (as a DIY kit) and portable 3D scanner. This could supply the country with modern equipment to improve the orthopaedic quality of protheses. Furthermore, the search for locally available materials is an important aspect. In this development process both specialists and end users are involved and the workshop has grown into an international cooperation between Fablab Amsterdam, the Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (New Delhi, India), the arctic Fablab Norway, MIT Biomechatronics Group in Boston and HONF Indonesia.
The programme is set up in collaboration with House of Natural Fiber (HONF), a media & art laboratory in Yogyakarta. HONF is an interdisciplinary group, existing of artists, designers, technicians, sociologists and planners. Their mission is the technological empowerment of local and social communities. HONF develops productive, creative projects and methods to anchor technology in society.
Over time a workshop was that was held in 2009, an exchange of experiences by users on the techniques and the use of materials, grew into a project. The knowledge and expertise of the Fablab will contribute to improve the production process of prostheses, while lowering the cost at the same time.