Pope Francis blesses 3D Printers made by students as part of humanitarian efforts in Uganda and the Congo.
Pope Francis is easily one of the more popular Popes. He’s embracing technology and doing the unexpected. So how does he feel about 3D printing technology?
During the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square held earlier this week in Rome, Pope Francis blessed not one, but two 3D printers.
The printers were created by students at The Massimiliano Massimo Institute, a technical school in Rome.
The teenagers had with their designs help from volunteers and other students in a “Making 3D Printers” class, and raised $25,000 via their Crowd4Africa crowdfunding campaign to make the printers a reality.
3D Printers doing God’s Work
The printers were created to make prosthetic hands from plastic waste, or even to make spare parts for those who need them and can’t afford it.
With help from the Open BioMedical Initiative, the printing mini-factories were designed for use in hospitals, specifically in Gulu, Uganda and in Kenge, of the Congo.
Both of these areas were chosen because they’re in desperate need of physical help. The Kenge Caritas center has only one physician available for every 150,000 people.
“We have chosen these location due to the level of difficulty locals encounter in acquiring prosthetics and the high costs they are faced with should they manage to get their hands on the product,” they explained.
Pope Francis is the Coolest Pope
The Crowd4Africa campaign raised nearly €25,000 to send the printers, along with plastic shredders, scanners, notebooks and other necessary tools to Gulu and Kenge later this year.
Best of all, this isn’t just a “cute” story, but the students are doing exactly what even the UN has suggested — using 3D printing to manufacture goods directly in these desperate areas. Printing can cut the cost of prosthetics from $300 (sometimes $3,000) down to $10, save doctors from waiting on vital parts on tools, recycle waste and even create jobs.
The real question is, what’s the coolest part about this campaign? That students are doing incredible humanitarian work with new technology? That these 3D Printing printers are moving to people who need them? Or that Pope Francis really is the coolest Pope?
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