Prosthetic Leg by Fablab Yogyakarta
In the Fablab Low Cost Prosthesis programme Waag and her partners developed the technology to produce a 'lower knee' prosthesis in line with the open innovation principles. This way end users, designers, researchers and manufacturers could jointly innovate products. The Fablab prosthesis programme has emerged as possible business case for the HONFablab in Jogyakarta, Indonesia. The idea behind it was that Fablab Yogyakarta could provide prostheses for two people per day. By doing so, it could empower the locals by creating new jobs and spread their orthopaedic knowledge.
The aim of this programme was to research how a country like Indonesia could become self-reliant in building prostheses. How can the Fablab infrastructure enhance and accelerate the production of ‘lower knee’ prostheses? An example was to develop low-cost tools, 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 was an important aspect.
What's a Fablab?
A Fablab is a platform for education and innovation: a place to play, create, learn, guide and discover. Waag's Fablab is part of a worldwide community of students, teachers, technologists, researchers and makers in other labs. Because all Fablabs share their tools and processes communally, we are all building on a worldwide distributed lab for research and explorations.
The Fablab is not only a place for hackers and nerds who want to play with machines. It is a space where designers and artists collaborate towards new visions on open design and production technology. By granting access to 3D printers, lasercutters and other machinery that used to only be available for big manufacturers, consumers are enabled to make something by- and for themselves. For the Fablab, empowering a maker mindset is crucial. We do this, for example, through our yearly Fab Academy, a distributed programme of 20 weeks focused on digital fabrication and electronics.