Goto main content

The 3D printing revolution

Taking rehabilitation to the next level

Meet Geraldo, our 3D pioneer

Geraldo is a cheeky, energetic 6 year old boy from Lomé, Togo.

On the 7th June 2018, Geraldo arrives at the rehabilitation center in central Lomé with his Mum and younger brother.

Geraldo can walk unaided but if you look closely you can see that his right foot drags and turns out a little. This makes it tricky for him to play football and, as he grows older, this instability will cause Geraldo significant pain and mobility problems.

Gerado is excited to try out his new splint – he knows that it’s a bit special!

© Xaume Olleros/HI

Geraldo’s splint was made in a small workshop not far from the rehabilitation center. The robotic arms of two cutting-edge 3D printers added layer upon layer of plastic to create Geraldo’s new, precisely-measured device.

Worn only at night, the splint will gradually ease his supple bones into a better position.

 All Geraldo needs to do is to stay still during the scan! 

The 3D scanner

Two weeks earlier, a hand-held scanner was used to create a digital 3D image of Geraldo’s leg. This data allows Humanity & Inclusion's teams to create a made-to-measure and adaptable splint to suit Geraldo’s specific rehabilitation needs.

© Xaume Olleros/HI

The moment of truth has arrived...

The splint perfectly matches the contours of Geraldo’s lower leg and ankle. Thanks to the 3D scan, HI has been able to produce his personalized splint remotely.'s a perfect fit!

"I’ll soon be ready to play football!"

A real innovation

3D technologies offer hope for the 40 million people globally who are in need of a artificial limb or brace as part of their rehabilitation. Many of these people live in isolated areas or conflict zones where they cannot access care.

The 3D scanning system is lightweight, portable and simple to use, making it possible to take measurements in challenging conditions. Splints, braces and prostheses can be produced remotely via 3D printing and delivered to those most in need.

Support our work

Like Geraldo, dozens of children and adults in Togo, Mali, and Niger are helping HI to test 3D-printed rehabilitation devices.

Show your support for this pioneering project!