Alumni of the Month  |  2015-03
March 17, 2015

Creating Affordable 3D Prosthetics in Argentina

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Gino poses with a recipient of one of his 3D-printed prosthetic hands. Gino poses for a picture with a recipient of one of his 3D-printed prosthetic hands. Photo Credit, U.S. Embassy Buenos Aires
With a limitless imagination and a charitable heart, Gino Tubaro of Argentina is dedicated to helping people with disabilities live without limits. During his 2013 National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) exchange, Gino was inspired by a seminar on the innumerable possibilities of 3D printing. Immediately following the exchange, he co-founded Darwin Research, a non-profit that explores using modern technologies, such as 3D printing, to find innovative solutions for pressing challenges.  
 
When Gino learned of a young boy in need of a hand prosthesis, he worked with his team to design an affordable hand using a 3D printer. The child’s family was overjoyed. Gino’s low-cost design provided financial and emotional relief. Since that first design, Gino has continued to  serve his community through “Hand4Hand,” an affordable 3D printed prosthetics program. With the help of his dedicated partners, Gino has created prototypes of prosthetic hands to accommodate a variety of needs and disabilities, and his designs are incredibly popular. To date, the waiting list for Gino’s prostheses totals in the hundreds.
 
Gino also founded Atomic Lab and is in the process of developing an Atomic Printer, a mobile phone-sized 3D printer which is powered by a USB port. Gino also created ”mechanomyograms,” a $2 sensor for prosthetics devices. The market price for such a device, commonly known as an electromyogram, generally costs more than $500.
 
Gino’s support of persons with disabilities is not limited to innovation. He currently works on the #ARGen3D initiative, managed by the Chief Minister’s Cabinet of the Argentine government, to create a dialogue on persons with disabilities in the labor force. By assisting in maintaining a national employment database, he also analyzes employment statistics for persons with disabilities in Argentina. Gino continues to support the alumni network in Argentina by mentoring new NYSC participants, working with other alumni through Embassy programming, and volunteering with CampIdeas, an Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) project which empowers youth in Hidalgo State through STEM camps that promote education and offer career counseling.
 
Each month, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) Alumni Affairs Division, which supports alumni as they build on their exchange experiences, recognizes one outstanding alumnus or alumna. Gino Tubaro is this month’s outstanding alumnus, and his work will be recognized throughout March on the International Exchange Alumni website, ECA’s official website which serves more than one million Department-sponsored exchange alumni worldwide.