Standing Tall: 3D Printing Prostheses for Champions and Survivors

Global Innovation Gathering (GIG)
re:publica 2016


What do Olympic Athlete Denise Schindler and Berlin based Syrian innovator Asem Hasna have in common? They are using 3D printing and technologies such as brain-computer interface and VR to improve their own prostheses as well as the lives of others. DIY electronics are promising a means to make customized, advanced technology available to the masses.


Denise Schindler lost her lower right leg when she was two years old in a traffic accident, her left leg was injured and the foot joint permanently damaged. Denise not only learnt how to stand on two legs, she discovered her love for bicycle riding after high school and has since then won several World Championships and a Paralympics silver medal in London in 2012. Together with Autodesk, she is working on optimizing her prosthetic leg to become the worlds lightest leg in order to enable her to be top of her discipline.

Asem Hasna disrupted his mathematics studies in order to work as a paramedic in the Syrian war. After Asem lost a leg in a bomb attack, he has become a prosthetic technician and works as a 3D printing expert in Refugee Open Ware (ROW) to employ technologies to help people in crises affected areas.

Although Asem and Denise have two very different stories and they both work similar technologies. 3D printing technology is helping to increase access to prosthetic and orthotic devices around the world – in the area of professional sports as well as for people suffering injuries in conflict zones.

How far apart are aspirational body devices and DIY low cost body devices? What different technological approaches exist? How can we use technology today to make sure the people in Palestine or Syria get the same quality of medical help as the Olympic Athlete? Denise and Asem will be discussing these questions together with the founder of the Palestine Hackerspace Vecbox Samer Shawar.

Stage 4
Mittwoch, 4. Mai 2016 - 15:00 bis 16:00


3D Printing Expert
Innovation Advisor