Shane is studying biomedical engeering at Duke University. He completed a biomedical engineering internship remotely as part of  Start Me Up’s Remote Internship Program.

I love engineering and learning how to design devices is something I’m really interested in. This internship provided me with my first opportunity to model anything in 3D, which I really enjoyed.

The NGO I was working with focuses on providing prosthetics, orthotics and wheelchairs for the large population of people with disabilities in Bali.

Basically, they bring people in and fit them for whatever they need. When it’s ready, they train them in how to use it.

Because of COVID-19, the NGO has had to cancel most of their in-person fundraisers and shift to online.

What the Internship Involved

I worked towards updating the system they already had in place.

The NGO currently manufactures prosthetics in an old-fashioned (and expensive) way. They still used clay molds which had to be put in the oven, fine-tuned and cooled.

The whole process took about two weeks, and that was only if they made no mistakes.

My goal was to research options in 3D printing. So, I figured out what materials their budget would allow for and found some free software designed specifically for NGO’s.

I taught myself how to design the parts by watching YouTube tutorials and also based it on a model used by more experienced manufacturers in the field.

Once you build the prosthetics, you can test where you can put a weight load on it and highlight problems. It means you can simulate someone walking on it without having to give it to anyone, which is really cool.

What was it like working with an NGO?

I worked really hard and it clearly paid off. They showed me footage of them actually fitting children with the prosthetics and seeing the immediate impact of my work was pretty heartwarming.

Being able to help people and keep the organization afloat motivated me to work every day. I was also working on stuff I’m really interested in. I love engineering and it was my first time modeling anything in 3D which I really enjoyed.

Find out more about Shane’s internship

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