Thu 18 Jul 2019 8:55PM

Funding for a Six Week Internship at ORTHOLAB in Rwanda

KR Kyle Reeser Public Seen by 98


I've created a Google Doc to provide updates on the internship. It's taken a few twists and turns so far, please follow along!

Click here for updates on the internship

In response to valuable community feedback several weeks ago, I split a multi-pronged proposal that paired this internship proposal with the Portable e-NABLE Lab, which has been funded (thank you E-nablio community!).

I am proposing a 6 week internship/volunteering mission at ORTHOLAB in Nyanza, Rwanda, followed by 2 weeks for documentation of ORTHOLAB prosthetic device designs and protocols, as well as multimedia processing.

With support from the EnableFund, I’m extremely excited about the opportunities this proposal would open up for the e-NABLE community.



  1. Sponsor an internship/volunteering opportunity at ORTHOLAB in Nyanza, Rwanda for 6 weeks.

  2. Video and photograph non-confidential portions of Rwanda internship experience for social media dissemination and educational reference.

  3. Document what was learned from ORTHOLAB, including:

    1. novel prosthetic designs developed by ORTHOLAB

    2. ORTHOLAB practices that deserve wider dissemination.
      (ORTHOLAB operates out of Belgium and several African countries
      and much of the available information on ORTHOLAB and its
      practices is in French.)

  4. Test the Portable e-NABLE Lab in the field, and provide feedback about its utility




The Belgian non-profit organization Humanitarian Prosthetists and Orthotists (HP&O) has worked since 2012 to establish 3D printed prosthetic device clinics called ORTHOLABs in Belgium and several other countries in Africa. The Rwandan ORTHOLAB project will be hosted by HVP-Gatagara (Home of the Virgin of the Poor), a rehabilitation center for disabled youth in the city of Nyanza, Rwanda. By this partnership, HVP-Gatagara will provide ORTHOLAB space to manufacture patient-specific prostheses using 3D scanning and additive manufacturing technologies. The clinicians and technicians at ORTHOLAB are volunteers who cover their own expenses. All donations to ORTHOLAB go directly toward providing valuable help to the poorest in need.

HP&O founder Roberto Postelmans will be at HVP-Gatagara for 6 weeks starting September 1, 2019 to oversee the establishment and first several weeks of ORTHOLAB operation. After he informed Jon Schull of an internship opportunity, I reached out to him.

Below, I describe the internship opportunity and highlight my own qualifications.

ORTHOLAB developed in parallel with e-NABLE. Roberto Postelmans reportedly reached out to e-NABLE in the early days, but the connection was never consummated. Postelmans, a certified prosthetist, has developed several innovative 3D-printable designs for lower as well as upper limb prosthetics. According to Jon, he is a storehouse of medical, technical and field experience and is eager to share. The internship is therefore an opportunity for e-NABLE and HP&O to join forces, and for e-NABLE to and learn from an experienced field practitioner, and document and disseminate his practices in English and other languages (Postelmans speaks only French).

ORTHOLAB has taken an independent yet parallel track to e-NABLE in the development of 3D printed prosthetic devices for both upper and lower limbs. I will document their devices and practices to share with the e-NABLE community. I will additionally bring and share my experience as a member of Rochester e-NABLE lab with ORTHOLAB.


Expected Results/Impact:

Benefits to e-NABLE:

Bring ORTHOLAB experience, designs, and techniques to the e-NABLE community

  • Much of the good work and innovation of ORTHOLAB is potentially sequestered from the e-NABLE community both geographically and via the French/English language barrier.

  • I will work with other volunteers to make documentation that is available in English.

  • Bring e-NABLE experience, designs, and techniques to ORTHOLAB*

  • Strong connections will be made with the founder of ORTHOLAB and its volunteers by sharing e-NABLE prosthetic designs and insights

  • The e-NABLE community will receive direct feedback on current designs from Roberto Postelmans, a medical professional in the field of 3D printed prosthetics

  • Photographic and video content for creation and fitting of prosthetic devices*

  • Filming and photographing the processes involved in making ORTHOLAB 3D printed prosthetic devices. This multimedia content will supplement written protocols.

  • Non-confidential photographic and video content at ORTHOLAB detailing prosthetic device fitting and customization protocols. This multimedia content will supplement written protocols.

  • Photographic and video content suitable for social media dissemination*

  • Non-confidential photographic and video content in Rwanda will be collected for social media dissemination. I will caption interesting photos and video for future social media use by the e-NABLE community.

Estimate of Work Effort Involved:

The volunteering/internship position will be full time for six weeks, while documentation and multimedia processing will be full time for two additional weeks. I expect to spend a portion of each weekend in Rwanda updating the e-NABLE community via social media channel(s) about my experience and any interesting techniques and ideas that come from my time at ORTHOLAB.

Work to be completed in the two weeks after returning from Rwanda:

  • Writing a Wikifactory Story detailing the experience in Rwanda and disseminating it to social media.

  • Multimedia processing: compiling and captioning interesting photographs and videos for social media dissemination

  • Create e-NABLE-appropriate step-by-step instructions for ORTHOLAB device fabrication and prosthetic fitting.

Estimated Timeline for Completion:

If funded, the estimated timeline for completion is as follows:

  • Internship at ORTHOLAB in Rwanda, Africa: six weeks beginning in early September and extending through mid-to-late October

  • Full documentation of ORTHOLAB experience (blog post, photo content, and video content,), and written documentation of ORTHOLAB procedures, practices, and prosthetic designs: two weeks after returning from Rwanda

Names of Individuals Responsible for Deliverables:

Kyle Reeser

Amount of Funding Being Requested:

I estimate the total funding requested for this proposal to be $8,000 (please see table below for cost breakdown). This figure considers all costs associated with the sponsored internship/volunteer position with ORTHOLAB for six weeks, and two weeks of full time work post-internship. The two weeks of full-time work upon returning from Rwanda will be dedicated to creating detailed documentation for what was learned from the ORTHOLAB experience, picture editing, and video compilation.

Click here for a cost breakdown of proposal

Table: Cost breakdown of proposal. Calculations are based on six weeks (42 days) in Rwanda and two travel days, for a total of 44 days.

A Brief Overview of Myself and My Background With e-NABLE:

I am a recent addition to the Rochester e-NABLE (Re-NABLE) Lab in Rochester, NY, working directly with Jon Schull and Skip Meetze on a variety of interesting projects. As a doctoral student in Biomedical Engineering, I have seven years of experience with a range of desktop 3D printers, five years research experience building and utilizing several 3D bioprinting platforms of my own design, and four years of experience establishing and implementing toolpath construction theory for a new paradigm of FDM 3D printing. I am an avid language learner, having won the 2013 Chinese Bridge Chinese proficiency competition and attained an HSK III certification. I’ve spent a year living and studying in China, and have traveled to more than 30 additional countries. In addition to the opportunity we have to bring back valuable ORTHOLAB information, I look forward to studying French over the next several months and making strong and lasting connections with ORTHOLAB volunteers, its parent nonprofit HP&O, and in Rwanda.


Poll Created Thu 18 Jul 2019 9:07PM

A six week internship at ORTHOLAB in Rwanda Closed Sun 28 Jul 2019 9:01PM

by Kyle Reeser Mon 29 Jul 2019 12:33AM

Thank you to everyone who voted! This proposal has passed with 20 agree votes and 0 disagree votes.

With support from the EnableFund, we have a very exciting opportunity to open ORTHOLAB’s processes and designs up to the eNABLE community, and forge an important and long-lasting collaboration with Humanitarian Prosthetists and Orthotists (HP&O) along with its founder, Roberto Postelmans.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns that I can help to address. I would like to do all that I can to turn this opportunity into a reality. Thank you!


Results Option % of points Voters
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  

20 of 143 people have participated (13%)


Nate Munro
Fri 19 Jul 2019 8:42PM

Kyle you're consistently doing some of the most impressive and innovative projects I've seen for outreach and to expand our capabilities. You're obviously very sharp, motivated, and doing really excellent work. Please keep it up!


Zico Maharaj
Sat 20 Jul 2019 5:34AM

I love the project and would love to see more labs in Africa. Keep up the great work!


Mon 22 Jul 2019 3:11AM

Excellent proposal.


Kyle Reeser Fri 19 Jul 2019 8:43PM

@natemunro You as well Nate! Thank you!


Rich B Sat 20 Jul 2019 6:17PM

Thumbs up


Zico Maharaj Mon 22 Jul 2019 9:39AM

I love this idea! I think its very important to train people in the communities to increase the impact of e-Nable and help empower those disadvantaged!

"Education is the great engine of development"- Nelson Mandela