Girl Guides Use Technology Skills to Help Special Needs Community with 3D Printed Park Model

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The Sharjah Girl Guides were first established in 1973, and spread across the United Arab Emirates in the following years, leading to the establishment of the Girl Guides Association of the United Arab Emirates in 1979. The organization allows girls to develop as strong citizens and leaders, much like the Girl Scouts of America. As part of their own growth, the Girl Guides often end up helping others along the way, too. Such was the case with a recent project that demonstrated the girls’ impressive knowledge of technology as well as their commitment to making life better for others.

February has been designated as UAE Innovation Month, which grew out of Innovation Week in previous years. It was developed as a festival celebrating innovation across the UAE and aiming to strengthen the country’s position as a global innovation hub. Events include the launch of new national initiatives, showcases of products and services, hackathons and competitions, labs and workshops, and more across each of the Emirates. As part of Innovation Month, the Sharjah Girl Guides presented an innovation of their own.

Fifteen Girl Guides, aged 12 to 15, recently created a 3D printed model of a park that could be used by individuals with disabilities and special needs. It was the second of two projects for Sharjah’s own Innovation Week; the other involved a 3D printed book about iconic landmarks in Sharjah. The model of the park helped the girls develop their own CAD and 3D printing skills, as well as showing them how their work could help others in the community.

“Sharjah Innovation Week provided the perfect opportunity for the guides to not only challenge themselves in a technical environment but also required them to innovate in ways that could give back to the community,� said Shaikha Al Shamsi, Manager of the Sharjah Girl Guides. “The park model for children with special needs showed the guides’ skills in the design elements of the project and their understanding of how to accommodate children of various abilities and needs, and how to make their lifestyles more enjoyable and their leisure time more accessible.�

The park model and book were completed in six sessions, each of which took approximately three hours to complete the two projects. The park, while still in a concept stage, has the potential to be turned into an actual park at some point. The book, meanwhile, was created to educate both guests and visitors on Sharjah.

The Sharjah Girl Guides have often showed that they value technology, with other past activities including a 3Doodler workshop. Projects like this latest are a great example of the importance that organizations like the Girl Guides have in the lives of young girls, teaching them about the impact of technology as well as their own abilities to use it for good purpose. If the park does eventually get built, these girls will have become architects at a young age, and even if it remains simply a model, they will have learned valuable lessons about 3D design and 3D printing that they can take with them into the future – perhaps using them to directly impact the special needs community in another way.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Sources: Tahawul Tech, Gulf Today / Images: Sharjah Girl Guides]

Emerging Implant Technologies Receives New FDA Clearance for 3D Printed Implants

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There are several companies out there specializing in the treatment of spinal conditions using 3D printed implants, but one that stands out is Emerging Implant Technologies (EIT), a German company that holds the distinction of being the first medical device manufacturer in the orthopedic field to exclusively focus on implants made using additive manufacturing. EIT’s specialty is its Cellular Titanium technology, a porous titanium material whose structure is close to that of cortical and cancellous bone. Its design facilitates the regrowth and incorporation of natural bone, and has made a major impact on the medical field and on the patients who have benefited from treatment with the implants.

Celluluar Titanium spinal implants were given FDA clearance last year, and now EIT has received FDA clearance again, this time for the expansion of their EIT Cellular Titanium Cervical Cage to be used in multiple contiguous cervical levels (C2 to T1). The design of the cervical cage assists the surgical and biomechanical challenges of cervical multi-level fusion by adapting to maximized vertebral endplate contact and sagittal balance restoration. 

The implants’ fusion potential is supported by EIT’s proprietary 3D printing process, which includes post-printing etching procedures and allows for unique porous structures that cannot be manufactured with traditional manufacturing techniques.

“This is another important regulatory milestone for EIT,� said Guntmar Eisen, Founder and CEO of EIT. “Only very few cervical cages are approved for multilevel use and we are poised to quickly enter the US market with the most advanced technology and state of the art FDA labeling and compliance.�

The EIT Cellular Titanium Cervical Cage is the first multi-level 3D printed cervical cage to enter the US market. It is designed to be used with autogenous and/or allogenic bone grafts to facilitate fusion, and should be used with supplemental fixation.

Musculoskeletal Clinical Regulatory Advisers, LLC (MCRA) assisted EIT on its FDA strategy and submission.

EIT Cellular Titanium

“This clearance represents continued synergy between FDA and the medical community,� said Justin Eggleton, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs. “The expanded indications to multiple levels in the cervical spine facilitates improved surgeon collaboration and the ability to collect data that will strengthen the total product lifecycle, which ultimately benefits patients.�

Spinal conditions have always been difficult to treat, which is why technology like that offered by EIT is so exciting. The company’s Cellular Titanium implants not only replace but help to regrow bone, leading to faster and more complete healing. EIT has plenty more innovations coming to the market before long, too. In the second quarter of this year, the company plans to add to its product portfolio with a lateral lumbar cage in the second quarter of 2018 and a fully 3D printed lateral expanding cage in the fourth quarter.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.

[Images: EIT]

JGAURORA 3D printer X Axis System Including 2 Printed Parts 6 Bearings 2 Polish Rods

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