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My name is Ben. I’ve been on an extraordinary journey over the past two years which started when my son was born. Sadly, Sol lost most of his lower left arm due to a blood clot following an injury at birth.
I responded as any parent would have. I looked into how Sol would be treated and what support we could expect. I quickly learned that many toddlers abandon prosthetics early on and I wanted to know why so Sol would stand a better chance. Calling on my psychology background and my passion for engineering, I started doing my own research. I noticed big gaps in what was being offered and saw lost opportunities at several key stages. Rather than complain, I decided to do something about it and set up Ambionics.
(Above) Dressing change at Alder Hey Children's Hospital post-amputation
We deliver a totally new kind of online service and are currently developing unique functional prosthetic solutions (including our world famous hydraulic technology) for children with upper limb differences everywhere.
Our first press release (March 1 this year) went viral. The response was truly out of this world and our story was covered in every Country and in every language. Most of the media attention centred on the hydraulic prototype we are working on.
It's inspired by the way spiders use fluid to move their legs (to find out more please follow the press links below). However, there is much more to Ambionics besides this. Let me explain...
Children are usually given their first prosthetic arm between 6 and 12 months of age. We introduce prosthetics much sooner - one month after an amputation (as in the case of my son) or from the moment a child with a limb difference arrives home from hospital. The director for innovation at NHS Wales described our research based approach as ‘potentially revolutionary’.
Replace casting with scanning
Normally parents must take time off work to attend appointments at specialist centres which might be hundreds of miles away from where they live. A prosthetist then creates a plaster cast mould of the affected arm and this is used to make a crude socket. Young children often find this stressful. They can wriggle and resist when the cast is taken and any sudden jerk can result in a poor fitting socket and a poor first experience of prosthetics.
At Ambionics, parents simply scan their child’s arm while they are asleep then upload the file to our online platform. We do the rest and deliver the prosthetic through the postal service! Simple! It takes about five minutes to do the scan and 40 minutes for us to model a socket. It’s worth noting that within two years all phones and hand held devices will come with a scanning application built in.
(above) The first 3D printed prototype, April 2016
5 Day Turn Around (compared to 6 - 11 weeks)
A traditional prosthetic can take as long as 11 weeks to make.
From a fresh scan, we can produce a new arm within a matter of hours
If a traditional prosthetic is misplaced or damaged it can take five weeks to get an appointment for a re-mould, and another 11 weeks before the replacement arm arrives (that’s four months without an arm!). At Ambionics we just print another from the digital copy we keep.
Traditional prosthetics are discarded after use. To help keep costs down and reduce our carbon footprint, Ambionics only replace parts that need replacing or upgrading – this is usually just the detachable socket.
Managing Growth Rates
Traditionally, children receive two arms per year (based on NHS service) which means that for a lot of the time the socket is either too tight or too loose. Plaster cast arms are designed to be slightly oversized so children can grow into them. This is a false economy in our opinion because loose or unsecure arms and ones that are too tight don’t inspire confidence. It’s easy to see why so many children stop wearing them. We recommend at least four or five sockets per year depending on the needs of the child.
Making Devices More Accessible
In most cases, cosmetic arms are made of fibre glass coated in varnish with a functionless silicone hand (often described as creepy looking). These are surprisingly expensive for what they are! In the US, a cosmetic arm can cost as much as $5,000! Our knowledge of 3D printing and scanning has the potential to seriously reduce these costs, making prosthetics accessible to children everywhere (and anywhere!)
We also believe in customising the look of the hand. We want to help break the stigma of 'cosmetic' prosthetic devices by offering bold colours and a choice of designs for infants.
We even encourage older children to take part in the design process. What better way to meet a young person's needs than to enable them to produce their own assistive devices and accessories!
Hi, this is project of my friend, she is a talented artist.
I`ll be glad for your help to make this project to life.
By Knight of the Dinner Table
That company is quite busy on Kickstarter, always nice miniatures with a certain character. The idea of getting one miniature in standing and "sleeping" / "dead" position is unique I think ... though I don't know if it's useful. On the other hand, a couple of sleeping halflings might go well with my hafling village ...
This project is designed to fund the production of a plastic injection mold, which will enable us to mass produce 32mm fantasy table top fauns.
After rgdgaming's first initial production runs with the Ghoul King and the Minotaur Brute, we wanted to create our first ten man box set, featuring our faun renders in plastic.
Our goal is to provide a ten man box set so players have the option to field tribal archers, javelin throwers, and miscellaneous warriors using fauns.
Initial Sketches of Fauns Based off our sketches, our renderer proposed that we use a 3 in 1 pose for the torso, which allows the faun to be armed with a bow, a javelin, or a sword and shield. We initially played with the idea of rocks underneath, but for the convenience of the player we eliminated them. We loosely based the fauns off the idea of thracians, whom were valued for their skirmish warfare.
Faun without Rock The project was promising, but we knew that modelers would eventually want a variety of options to choose from. We started with some different heads and a female counterpart. This led to some sketches below.
Faun Add Ons Females are sorely under represented in many tribal type armies, so we tried to combine huntress concepts, such as the cloth along the thighs, longer hair, and agile frame. We are looking for multiple head types to go with the torso, and a new female torso to match the male counterpart and weapons
Proposal for the Sprue
We have been given multiple quotes for the .CAD design and we have two options: a simple sprue featuring two torsos, with all the options for bow, javelins, shield, heads and accessories for around $200-$300 designed, or we can try one sprue with ten times the amount of accessories for around 2k. The larger we make the design, the more we have to account for the mold design. One sprue with ten models would be ideal.
Who are We Making These For?
The faun box set is intended to offer Kings of War players the ability to field tribal archers and javelin throwers for their Herd army. Though the other is the apparent lack of faun miniatures on the market.
We wanted to open up an opportunity later for a new box set, which would allow the fauns to adapt the thracian Rhomphaia, the miniature version of the deadly falx. With the lack of armor they would make an ideal spirit walker. Put this together, and you have an incredible table top army in the works.
How are These Being Made?
When weighing resin vs plastic we had to pick and choose the option that allows us to provide a great model set at a price that people appreciate. Resin is cheaper to make a mold for, but costs several times more material wise than ABS plastic for example. So we decided to shoot for an injection mold.
Injection molds allow machines to make plastic impressions at a rate that is far faster than resin casting. As a result, it is far less labor intensive. This makes it relatively cheap to use no matter which country you enlist to make the product
To design the mold blue print, we are enlisting a .cad designer from http://camppixel.com/. To make the injection mold and miniatures, we are working with http://www.kamings.com/ (has done work with previous kickstarters, and work for our minotaurs) A professional renderer and 3D sculptor. To avoid wasting the funds on a bad mold, we will be testing the .cad design with a rapid prototype in the US, giving us a good clue to the viability of the sprue. From here we can refine the mold.
What Do We Need?
$2900-$4000 for the mold
$200-$2000 for the .cad design
$500-$800 for the option of extra bits, heads, and torsos
Cost of materials and shipping of the product will be handled by RGD GAMING LLC to satisfy the minimum order needed to make this project happen.
What Do You Get?
For a $1 or $5 contribution
Personal credit will be given in this products production
For a $25 contribution
1 10 Model Faun Box Set (Retail SRP 34.99) (separate shipping and handling applies).
For a $50 contribution
3, 10 Model Faun Box Set (separate shipping and handling applies).
For a $100 Contribution
6, 10 model Faun box set (separate shipping and handling applies).
Availability of Shipping
If we can mail it, we will try for you, whether you are in Canada, or Cambodia. Do note that postal performance varies from country to country and tracking may not be available for lower end shipping. Customs may be required.
Mainland US and territories $6
Europe and rest of the world
A realistic estimate is somewhere between 4-6 months. We have cut down the time it takes with our initial renders, but we have to take into account production time of models, changes, and revisions of the mold. There will also be the communications and forwarding of shipments.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge is funding the initial plastic injection mold for this project. Plastic injection molds are cheaper than steel molds but offer comparable precision, is ideal for mass production, and pairs well with plastic models. Resin offers cheaper molding opportunities, but is not ideal on a cost per model basis.
What we have done to make this project relatively easy is carefully vetting companies and partners for quality. As a result, we have many of the crucial elements a wargaming company needs.
A concept artist
A professional 3D sculptor (for the renders)
A .CAD designer (blue print for the mold)
A production company who can make the injection mold and produce the miniatures
Initial renders and sketches paid for in advance
Most importantly, a retail company who is dedicated to timely results
To insure funds for the mold are not squandered, we will be prototyping the .cad files with local production companies, before green lighting the injection mold. The process is cheap and offers a quick turn around (5-7 days).
We estimate the project will take 4-6 months to allow time for the design and production of the mold, add ons for the miniature sprue and shipping from mainland china to the US. From here we can label and ship products from the United States. A lot of the time will be cut down because of the initial time and investment we have already committed toward the faun project.
I remember that the first Imbrian Arts KS had a lot of issues and delays, but I don't know whether it was eventually sorted out or not so if any previous backers have any info it would be worth speaking up.
The minis look good though
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