The Secretary Bird is one of the most interesting and beautiful wild birds found in South Africa, their exotic looks and hunting habits make them a sought after species to observe and thus they have also been crowned Bird of the Year 2019 by Bird Life South Africa. Our story is about a particular Secretary bird called Legs. She was found a few years ago starving with her foot trapped in a snare, she was rescued and brought to the Eagle Encounters Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation Centre based at the historic Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch, a non-profit organization established in 2001. Owner, Hank Chalmers, took Legs in nurtured her back to health, but the foot was badly damaged and could not be saved. Legs lost her foot and had to adapt, now walking on the stump with one leg shorter.
About two years ago we were approached by Professor Mashudu Tshifularo who is the HOD and chief specialist of the Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) dept at Steve Biko Academic Hospital
At the University of Pretoria about developing a full Ossicle Implant, essentially replacing the Middle ear bones with a prosthesis that could simulate the original bones.
About a year ago we were approached by Dr. Lionel T. Dean from FutureFactories Studio to collaborate on one of his projects that involved creating a walk-able artwork in the form of a titanium prosthetic leg. We collaborate on a regular basis and thus Lionel knew we could help as this is one of the fields we work in on a regular basis and could quickly connect to the right people to make this a reality.
Lionel handled the design while we helped on a few of the smaller elements, we approached Heinrich Grimsehl, a Prosthetist Orthotist from the ARC. (Amputation Rehabilitation Circle) at the Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, who would be instrumental in helping with recruiting our amputee model Louisa Brown, and also helped with the mechanics of the leg, making sure everything is medically sound. Altair helped by providing software analysis regarding the strength of the design and The Center for Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing (CRPM) at the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein, offered their services in the manufacturing of the Titanium components for the leg using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) to produce the 2 Titanium parts. The parts were welded together by the team from the CSIR National Laser Center (NLC) in Pretoria, and then the CRPM’s guys machined the components to make sure all the fittings fit, with a little bit of extra help from the guys at the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP) at the VUT Southern Gauteng Science & Technology Park (VUTSGSTP) to finish it off. The final assembly was done at the ARC. by Heinrich and his team so we could do the fittings and tests with Louisa.
Listen to Jason Laing’s story speaking at TEDX about how he recovered from his injuries using 3D Printing and Virtual Reality technologies. Jason is a frequent collaborator with BunnyCorp working on various projects ranging from jewellery to medical. We are currently in the process of developing new types of prosthetics for animals and humans for various types of disabilities.
For the past 2 years we have been very closely with Pro Paedic developing Adjustable sockets for Prosthetic limbs. We used high end 3D printing to create custom adjustable sockets that not just fits the patient perfectly but also allows them the freedom to tighten and loosen their prosthetic limb as needed improving the level of comfort. So far the medical trails have been going very well and below you will see some results from our latest test on the Mark III Socket. We would like to give a special thanks to the guys at the Center for Rapid Prototyping (CRPM) at Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein for their assistance in sponsoring the 3D Printed socket. Check out the video below!
Today @ Euromold in Düsseldorf, Lionel T. Dean was joined by a few selected international designers taking part in the Euromold 2015 3D Print Fashion Show. Lionel exhibited many of his fantastic works including one of our collaboration pieces, “Divine Intervention”.
Wearing the our pair of shoes is the beautiful designer Sabina Saga
3D Printed Gold jewellery is not just possible but quite beautiful as shown by one of our esteemed design partners Lionel T. Dean. He has been a pioneer in adapting 3D printing technologies to create beautiful products & art, always experimenting and pushing boundaries. Have a look at some of his amazing creations and keep an eye out for some of our future collaboration projects 🙂 You can view Lionel’s work on his official site https://www.futurefactories.com/ or our partner page https://bunnycorp.co.za/future-factories/
We are happy to announce the after the last two months of hard work, experiments and tests we have finalized Ozzie’s prosthetic leg. For the past two weeks Ozzie walked with his final test leg proving that the design is solid and he is adapting quite nicely to using a prosthesis. We have learnt a lot through the process and are very happy to see positive results as Ozzie’s life is getting as close to normal for a goose as it can get.
Ozzie just received another upgraded leg this past Friday, we sorted a few problems with the previous one and I am happy to that we can now finalize the design for his final leg. We shortened the foot’s skeletal base so he has more flex in front making it was easier to walk, we also added some movement to the ankle which provided us with good information about what the final angles should be. He will be walking with this leg until the final one arrives.