Chats With Champions

Dean Rock's 3-D printed prosthetics

Posted:  Saturday, April 20, 2019 - 2:15pm

Dean Rock of Cumberland, Maine, will speak at Skidompha Library’s Porter Meeting Hall  Tuesday, April 30 at 10 a.m. The topic of his lecture:  3-D printed prosthetic limbs, which he designs and prints for those in need. Please allow adequate time for parking.

Upon retirement, Dean Rock needed a hobby. Formerly a licensed substance abuse counselor in New Hampshire, Rock became a stay-at-home Dad when his family moved to Portland for his wife’s medical residency. During this time, Rock began experimenting with 3-D printing in his basement. His drive to apply his new skill to practical causes lead him to an online forum for amateur 3-D printers, and a global network of passionate volunteers called “e-Nable.” This all-volunteer group creates open-sourced programs and templates for customized designs of 3-D printed prosthetic hands and arms. Rock backed a Kickstarter proposal for a 3-D printer and, with the availability of software from e-Nable and supplies ordered on Amazon, Rock transitioned from hobbyist to philanthropist.

In 2016, Portland Rotary Club began looking for better prosthetics to fulfill its member organization’s international 3-H (Hearing, H2O and Hands) project. Serendipitously, Rotarian John Curran connected with Rock and a partnership ensued. Portland’s club, along with other neighboring Rotaries, enabled this collaboration to work through their combined interest, missions, and significant donations to the projects in Dominican Republican.

Rock donates his time, energy, and materials to residents of the Dominican Republic in need of prostheses. He considers the impact he makes on recipients’ lives reward enough for his work.

Learn more about Rock’s 3-D printing process, his philanthropy, and his plans for the future in this engaging lecture.

Chats with Champions is a free community offering from your national award-winning Skidompha Library at 184 Main Street, Damariscotta. This program is generously sponsored by Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop. For more information, please call the library: 563-5513.