ELIX Polymers and Ayúdame3D join forces to produce solidarity prostheses using recovered ABS
ELIX Polymers, a global leader in thermoplastics manufacturing, has collaborated with Repsol and Leitat on a sociotechnological project with Ayúdame3D, a Spanish social startup that promotes the social value of technology through awareness-raising programmes to help people with disabilities thanks to 3D printing.
Ayúdame3D has become a leading social entity in social technology. It creates and delivers 3D printed prosthetics called Trésdesis, free of charge to people throughout the world. It obtains financing through programmes with education centres and through CSR actions with companies: sponsorships, corporate volunteering and the creation of solidarity trophies and merchandising, as well as social impact conferences.
ELIX Polymers is a leading company that has great experience in the ABS industry. And within the framework of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and in order to contribute positively to the social well-being of people and reduce social inequalities, ELIX has collaborated with the association on a solidarity project that uses recycled ABS as the raw material for 3D printing. The challenge of ELIX Polymers has been to offer a customised solution for the project, for which it has applied the circular economy model through two strategic programmes of the company’s portfolio of sustainable solutions: ‘Circular Plastics’ and ‘Responsible Innovation’. In the manufacturing process, ELIX has upcycled by turning waste into a high-value product through cooperation in the entire value chain, in which it has incorporated virtualisation and new 3D technologies.
The project has been possible thanks to the collaboration with two large companies: Repsol that donated 4,000 pieces of ABS boards to the association, coming from computer equipment that would have otherwise been discarded; and Leitat, which is a technology centre of excellence. Leitat has created spools using the raw material recovered by ELIX for the subsequent 3D printing and manufacturing of Trésdesis, which are 3D printed arms for the wrist, elbow or shoulder.
Toni Prunera, Head of Business Development and R&D /IP at ELIX, comments: ‘This project has given us the opportunity to show and prove the benefits of plastic, specifically through a more efficient ABS recovery circle that has resulted in an orthopaedic application that will allow helping people who are the most vulnerable.’ Toni adds that ‘ABS is a great ally in medical applications that help to improve the health of people and society’.
As a leading global company in ABS manufacturing, for several years ELIX Polymers has promoted the recovery of plastic waste as a raw material, and specifically in the development of this project, the circularity of ABS has been key. The project has also been a success thanks to the leadership of Ayúdame3D and its commitment, work and efforts to place technology at the service of people. Under the motto, ‘Helping is too easy not to’, and with the help of donations and collaborative efforts, the social entity is taking innovation and technology to countries where they are needed the most.
To view the video on the project, click on the following link: https://youtu.be/QsaRIvCqGEQ
For more information about Ayúdame3D, its projects and collaboration, visit https://ayudame3d.org/