Richard van As lost two of his fingers in a carpentry accident in 2011, which ultimately led him to creating an organization called Robohand. Robohand provides assistance to those that have lost limbs or fingers at little to no cost. Now the organization is heading a new project to bring inexpensive prosthetics to the masses.
Robohand has partnered with the College of the Ouachitas in Arkhansas to open a 3D printer farm which will act as a manufacturing hub for Robohand's 3D prosthetic parts. The farm will be located on the Ouachitas campus and will be equipped with 50 Makerbot Replicator 3D printers, which will be able to produce hundreds of parts a day. The 3D printing farm will be the largest of its kind in the world.
In addition to the farm, van As is developing a college curriculum based on 3D printing, to be taught at Ouachita. The 3D printer farm will occasionally be open to the public to use the facility for their own 3D printing needs.