Andiamo – Using 3D Printing To Change Lives


If you follow us on Twitter you will have hopefully already seen us passionately supporting the Andiamo team.

If you haven’t, here’s what they do in a nutshell: They use 3D printing to create beautiful, well-fitted orthotics for disabled children in record time.



Naveed and Samiya, the wonderful couple behind Andiamo started on this journey after first hand experience of raising a disabled child and the draconian procedures that are still used to fit braces for children in need.

We wanted to write a post about them as they are incredible creatives and true pioneers doing a wonderful thing, and we wanted to do our bit to try and get their story out there.


We are Naveed and Samiya Parvez. Our son Diamo was born in March 2003, he had a difficult birth due to medical negligence, which led to cerebral palsy. Sadly he passed away in March 2012.


Diamo needed a number of braces and treatment to help with his posture, including requiring a new type of brace. The heartbreaking procedure for fitting this is outlined on their site

“Bear in mind Diamo couldn’t communicate, hated cold things, and wasn’t able to understand what was happening to him.

The process was:-

  1. Consultant referred us to Cox Ortho
  2. At Cox Ortho, Diamo had to be stripped for the mould to go on his skin
  3. He was covered in Plaster of Paris to get a mould, this was done first with him lying on his front
  4. The Plaster of Paris took about 10 minutes to dry. Hopefully we’d been able to keep him still enough for the mould to be accurate enough for it to be removed
  5. This was then repeated with him on his back, which he absolutely detested and would scream throughout the procedure
  6. Measurements were then taken of his hips and legs
  7. We would then wait between 4-13 weeks for it to be created using moulded plastic and metal
  8. When it was ready we went for a fitting by which time he had grown and it had to be modified. If we were lucky it was just a quick modification, and if we weren’t it meant we had to go back for multiple adjustments
  9. The process was trial and error. Sometimes the brace would be ever so slightly out, leading to sores and marks. For example if the bit under the arm wasn’t cut properly it could bruise him under his armpit. We also cut strips of sheepskin to put inside the knee abductors to reduce sores
  10. This would then have to be repeated after 6-9 months after he outgrew it.”


You wouldn’t blame Naveed and Samiya for being bitter and drained from everything they went through, but instead they are taking their experience and pouring their heart and soul into fixing this process; into improving the lives of others around them and changing the future of orthotics.


andiamo onscreen

andiamo cakes


Last week we attended Andiamo’s Half Way There Party, to celebrate being mid way through their crowdfunding campaign, where we got to see one of the 3D printed back brace prototypes and compare it to a traditional one.




As you can see from the pictures, it really doesn’t compare. The 3D printed brace is so light and delicate, but so strong at the same time.


orthotic3d printed orthotic


We also got to see a 3D scanner in action!


3d scanner3d scan


No rest for the wicked, as the next morning Nav and Sam were straight off to the London edition of the IBM Smart Camp, a global entrepreneurial programme that gives start ups the opportunity to pitch to a huge network of investors and business advisors. If they won the London round, they could then go on to pitch in the European round, and then globally.

And you know what? They only went and bloody won it.

ibm smart camp winners


Congratulations Andiamo team! And good luck in the next round!

I know this has been a long post, and I’m so grateful if you’re still reading. If you’re wondering if there is anything you can do to help Andiamo on their quest to change lives, their crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo is still going until Monday, October 20th (11.59pm PT).


As I’m writing this they are a little over half way but they still need all the support they can get otherwise all the money goes back! So please do give anything you can, spread the word, and support this amazing cause.

You can keep up with Andiamo on Twitter, Facebook, and their blog, but the best way is to give a few quid to the campaign and get their regular updates straight to your inbox.

Thank you.

Jen Wright

Jen Wright

Letterpress printer, maker and freelance writer. I blog about the people and things that inspire me, in the hope that I will inspire you.
Jen Wright

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