In Rennes, Brittany, a fab lab is enabling those with disabilities to print out the latest generation prostheses themselves from open source plans and adapt them to their own needs. With the support of volunteers, they can regain control over their disability.
A life-altering accident
Back in 2002, Nicolas Huchet was the victim of an accident at work at 18 years of age, losing his right hand in the process. Since then, he has been campaigning for better access to bionic prostheses. In 2013, in Rennes, he founded My Human Kit, an association which enables prostheses to be manufactured at a reduced cost using 3D printers. My Human Kit forms part of the ‘FabLabs’ network of digital manufacturing laboratories.
Open Source, a new way forward for inclusion
It’s the start of a whole new era: handicapowerment. Thanks to open source, which provides free access to 3D plans for protheses, together with the assistance of volunteers, this ‘human lab’ enables different pieces of kit to be manufactured, which help to overcome a disability. Within this context, one learns about modelling, coding, as well as resourcefulness and inclusion. Those with disabilities can print out the latest-generation prostheses themselves and adapt them to their needs. The cost of a conventional prosthesis can cost up to a hundred thousand Euros, but with My Human Kit it equates to a fraction of the price at just a few hundred Euros.
“My disability is no longer something I suffer from, it’s something I explore.” Nicolas Huchet