Desktop Prosthetics is a project I’ve been working on with Adrian McEwen and Patrick Fenner fellow permanent deskers at DoESLiverpool to develop an iteration of the Enabling the Future project within the Build Your Own Show at FACT with Reach and CraftsCouncilUK

DoESLiverpool is a community of makers and entrepreneurs in Liverpool, with a Co-Working space where I’m based, Workshop and Event Hub. It’s a place to work, learn, share ideas, form groups and make things the way you want to for small fees or initially, cake.

We’ve been project managing and open sourcing the project on github here so that the project infrastructure itself explores contemporary tools for sharing code, information and knowledge.

The 3 of us and DoES will be lead creative technologists helping setup, facilitate and support a ‘production line’ area for Build Your Own introducing the idea of 3D printing open source designs of upper limb prosthetics. It’s inspired by BionicBailey a local family who used DoESLiverpool’s workshop to print hand parts independently and are now local experts in Raptor hand making!

Over the course of the exhibition we will be testing and building 3D printed prosthetic devices. The public will have the opportunity to play, experiment and understand what prosthetics are and how access to rapid prototyping and open source digital making tools can help people make the world the way they want it.

I think the key to this project is that it’s an entry point into the culture of sharing technical knowledge in the networked society and it’s a way of learning about science and engineering on a practical level and it also engages with ideas around the social model of disability: People are not disabled, society makes them disabled because it’s not built well enough. It’s a way of really exploring the design process and the reality of 3Dprinting beyond the hyperbole of the media.