Wooden Fetoscopes from 3D printed samples

 

Today we got these wooden fetoscopes (Fetal stethoscopes – used to listen to a baby’s heartbeat in the womb) back from the carpenters. We’re excited about them because of the process by which they were made.

Fetoscopes have previously been made by Field Ready and design files existed to 3D print one. We then took this to a local carpenter who was able to copy the design with wood turned on a lathe. We gave one wooden fetoscope to a clinic to test and they told us it was even better than the plastic ones! This is the next batch of wooden ones that will go out for testing in maternity clinics in Nairobi and beyond.

We think this production method offers great potential – 3D printing a sample from a digital file to make sure the design is right, then getting it replicated locally in cheap, readily available materials by skilled makers – delivering a high quality product at low cost with a short supply chain.