REHAB-LAB, virtual community for the manufacture of technical aids with 3D printing
A virtual community for the manufacture of technical aids using 3D printing, which allows users to design and build their own aids in collaboration with technologists and socio-health professionals.
In this service, which is unique in France because of its integration within a rehabilitation centre, engineers are dedicated to innovation and the development of technological assistance for people with disabilities. The REHAB-LAB enables users to actively participate in the manufacture of their technical aids, thanks to 3D printing technology.
3D printing offers many advantages over conventional manufacturing techniques used to date in occupational therapy: adaptation, reproduction, aesthetics, weight, distribution, time, cost, accessibility, appropriation, mediation/occupation…
Accessibility is the main interest of 3D printing for users, who can be more involved in the rehabilitation process. Since the design of an object is digital, the possibility of creating one’s own technical aids is no longer due to the physical manipulation of materials but to the accessibility of the computer tool.
Characteristics of innovation
Kerpape, Co Work’Hit, Hit, French Government, Banque de Territoires
The first REHAB-LAB was launched in February 2016 at the Mutual Centre for Rehabilitation and Functional Rehabilitation (CMRRF) by the Centre’s Electronics Laboratory in close collaboration with occupational therapy services.
After two years of routine operation at Kerpape, the first REHAB-LAB training course was set up in February 2018 at the request of external professionals. Other structures that already have their own initiatives around 3D printing also join REHAB-LAB first. Since then, a virtual community has been structured and has spread throughout France.
Level of implementation
Since its creation five years ago, the REHAB-LAB has made it possible to produce around 1,400 devices at very affordable prices.