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3D printed prosthetics

Million Waves Project 3D Prints Prosthetic Limbs From Ocean Plastics

Picture of Anne Freier
by Anne Freier
May 1, 2018


Charitable non-profit Million Waves Project combines a passion for cleaning up the ocean with helping young people in need: this young organization aims to provide prosthetic limbs 3D printed from reclaimed ocean plastics for children in need, worldwide, free of charge.

Ocean plastic pollution is a core issue right now, with increasingly large patches of plastic particulates circulating the oceans the subject of much media attention right now. Some shocking forecasts even suggest that, by weight, there will be more plastic than fish in the planet’s oceans by 2050. To provide a solution, many innovative companies and creators have begun to recycle found plastics into usable products, notably filament for 3D printing.

Now, a new project is taking things to the next level. Launched in the dead of night on Earth Day, The Million Waves Project looks to use up the blight of ocean plastics for something beneficial to those in need.

The non-profit’s goal is to provide free custom prosthetic limbs for children that otherwise might not have access to them.  They aim to do this by 3D printing — be it printed directly on the organization’s newly acquired Ultimaker 2 or via 3rd-parties around the world — the limbs from this recycled ocean trash.

Explaining The Million Waves Project, founder Chris Moriarity said “I realized that one of the world’s most shameful problems could be reclaimed and turned into something to be proud of. [A] story of redemption we could all take part in”. Quite the revelation, and an especially powerful one to have has it at 2 o’clock in the morning.

Anyone can buy a Million Waves keychain and help sponsor a 3D printed limb. (Image: Million Waves Project)

Partners Deliver Necessary Support

Thus, the Million Waves Project was born. Within a week new partnerships had been forged, with companies offering expertise and funding for the altruistic endeavor.

We are just getting started,” explained Moriarity. “This is a world-changing operation, and everyone can get involved on the ground floor”.

Among the first official partners is GreenBatch, an Australia-based non-profit organization which, in its efforts to rid Australia of single-use plastics sources waste ocean plastics and turns it into 3D printable filament.

Rather than developing their own, it appears that Million Waves turns to the well established open-source prosthetic limb movement, e-Nable.

Moriarty continues “[F]or as little as $45 we can provide a limb for someone that will dramatically change their life, they can go to work, or play ball with their friends – and we have the technology do it responsibly.”

To see more of what Million Waves is about, check out the organization’s site here.

License: The text of "Million Waves Project 3D Prints Prosthetic Limbs From Ocean Plastics" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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