Thanks to its low price and lightweight, 3D-printed prosthesis is both a boon to the disabled and a boost to business. Rather than making a profit from it, Mike Li, one of the founders of the social venture 3D Printed Prosthetics, prefers to better perform the roles of a "promoter" and "service provider" to serve the needs of the underprivileged.
Mike began his career in the IT industry. Having been inspired by the concept of social enterprise, he started to think about serving the community with his profession, and eventually set up the social venture to produce 3D-printed prosthesis for children with disabilities. 3D Printed Prosthetics organises workshops for incorporating into the STEM (aka Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum, teaching students the skills of using relevant software, prosthesis printing and assembling. "On one hand, we could offer prosthesis to the people in need," said Mike, "And on the other hand, students could acquire the skills and have a deeper understanding of the disabled.
The venture is spending 80% of its resources to serve those low-income groups who cannot afford the expensive prosthesis. The beneficiaries consist of a large overseas group including a numerous number of poor people in West Africa who became disabled during political chaos or wars.
On long-term development, Mike said the shortage of manpower poses the biggest challenge. In addition to that from schools, he would like to gain support from corporates or organisations as well so as to serve more children, patients or even stroke survivors. Meanwhile, Mike is also thinking about getting in touch with more NGOs of the poorer regions in Asia to extend the coverage of beneficiaries and the opportunities for them to re-establish dignity and the skills of living.
Scope of Services
youth and children
- Video Interview: Hong Kong Stories – An amateur “prosthetist” (RTHK, 3/3/2018) (Chinese only)
- IT man hopes to popularize the use of 3D-printed prosthesis by sharing its source codes (Apple Daily, 23/8/2017) (Chinese only)
- A physically handicapped person ‘moves’ again with the help of 3D-printed prosthetic hand (Ming Pao, 22/5/2017) (Chinese only)
- 3D-printed Prosthesis (TVB, 14/6/2017) (Chinese only)