As an industrial engineer, Guillermo Martinez is an innovator by trade.
It’s the 24-year-old’s job to think outside of the box. As such, his creativity is always flowing, whether he’s on or off the clock. In fact, the proudest achievement of his career came after browsing YouTube for fun ways to use his new 3D printer. Guillermo had an epiphany and went on to improve lives in the world’s poorest countries.
After purchasing a 3D printer in 2017, Guillermo began researching how to build robots and stumbled across a tutorial for a prosthetic hand.
“I started making many 3D-printed hand prostheses for fun,” Guillermo told Insider. “Then I thought to myself, ‘what if this can actually help someone?”
Guillermo was about to leave on a trip to Kenya, so he got in touch with the NGO Bamba Project beforehand to see if anyone there could benefit. The response blew him away. A flood of messages came in from people asking for prosthetics. Guillermo realized he had the power to change their lives. That’s how his project Ayúdame3D (Help Me 3D) came to be.
While many residents of the country are missing limbs, very few can afford prosthetics. According to The World Bank, 36 percent of Kenyans live below the poverty line. Fortunately, Guillermo’s prosthetics cost only $50 to make — but he gives them out for free.
Made of plastic, the 3D-printed arms allow users to pick up and hold items weighing up to 22 pounds, making everyday tasks much easier.
“At last I will be able to take a fork with one hand and bread with the other,” one recipient said.
After testing his first batch in Kenya, Guillermo wanted to make his prosthetic limbs available to people around the world at no cost. And he’s been working tirelessly to do so ever since. So far, he’s delivered 50 prostheses to people in Kenya, El Salvador, Chad, Morocco, Tanzania, and Spain.
“There are everyday things we do in our daily lives that we take for granted,” Guillermo said. “And we don’t realize how lucky we are. For others it’s a constant struggle, and that’s why I set up Ayúdame3D to do my own bit, however small.”
What’s more, Guillermo is also teaching children how to use 3D printers through Ayúdame3D Kids so they can eventually make prosthetic limbs, too!
Through his work, Guillermo has proven himself so much more than an innovator. He’s a leader, a humanitarian, and, most importantly, a hero to everyone he helps. Ayúdame3D runs on donations, so if you’d like to help out, consider making a financial contribution here.
Learn more about how these 3D-printed limbs work and the impact they’re making below, and share to spread the word!
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