From Mechanical Engineering to Medical Breakthroughs: Aya’s 3D Printing Project

UNDP Syria
2 min readApr 21, 2023
©UNDP / Syria — Adeeb AlSayed

Aya is a 25-year-old Mechanical Engineering graduate from Aleppo. For her thesis in 2021, Aya used 3D printing to restore the skull bones of an 18-year-old young woman who lost her eye in an accident and was unable to obtain a prosthetic eye because of the loss of the orbital bone. Aya studied the structure of her face and developed a 3D print using the CT images. She then applied the print to the titanium plate that was implanted by maxillofacial surgeons.

Aya joined the Women at Work project, implemented by United Nations Development Programme. The project aims to empower women in different career fields through a business accelerator. Her project involved using 3D printing to create prostheses for facial and dental implants, reducing surgical time and increasing accuracy. Aya’s project received support from mentors, doctors, and fellow woman entrepreneurs.

“The Women at Work project provided logistical and technical support and helped me develop my ideas and plan more clearly. It brings me great joy to see the result of my work and how it helps in the recovery of someone’s life. The preparation of 3D prints of facial prostheses gives the doctor precision at work and reduces tissue trauma during implantation. I am now working on digital dental implants and preparing a surgical guide for the doctors to use”. Aya’s passion for medicine and engineering and desire to work on projects that benefit people have helped her achieve remarkable results.

UNDP’s Women at Work project aims to support women’s economic empowerment in Aleppo and explore new activities beyond gender stereotypes. The project focuses on four areas of work: science, technology, engineering, and fashion design. One hundred and sixty-three women were trained in entrepreneurship skills, including but not limited to business feasibility, access to markets, financial literacy, and business planning. By the end of the project, 37 women were supported to set up their micro businesses and received business acceleration services. Twenty-eight mentors also received training of trainers support on mentoring skills. Moreover, 187 beneficiaries received prevention and response to sexual exploitation and abuse awareness sessions.