The 7.0 earthquake that devastated the tiny island nation of Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, affected over 3 million people.
While the tragic disaster made headlines around the world at the time, the public's eye has largely moved on.
Unfortunately though, many Haitians are still struggling with the after effects of the deadly earthquake.
iLab//Haiti is a nonprofit program that uses two MakerBot Replicator 3D printers and 3D modeling software to help the plight of Haitians by teaching them how to design and 3D print products, such as much needed medical supplies.
Ashley Dara was volunteering in Haiti for another organization when she saw the need for 3D printers there.
"I was seeing these really expensive water treatment facilities that were completely unmanned and dilapidated because 1. They don't have the training to run them and 2. They don't have access to spare parts," Dara said. "All I could think was, 'I wish I had my 3D printer.'"
Dara, told the staff at KIDmob last spring about how medical workers would resort to cutting the fingers off latex gloves in order to tie off newborn's umbilical cords.
"That left nurses unprotected in an area with very high HIV/AIDS rates," KIDmob co-founder Kate Ganim said.
The problem is actually getting supplies to those who need them.
"The shipping infrastructure in Haiti is very weak and corrupt," Ganim said. "It takes two to four months to get supplies down there, and when you do, some of the contents that you ordered tend to come up missing."
Dara invited Ganim and a couple of other KIDmob staffers down to Port-au-Prince for the first time last May to set up two MakerBot Replicators and get started training local residents on the technology.
"They (Haitians) crowded around them and said, 'What is this? Can we learn them? Can we learn them?'" Ganim said.
And iLab//Haiti was born.
The printers are more of a carrot on a stick though. Printing needed medical implements is crucial, but teaching Haitians how to use CAD software and 3D printers themselves is more important.
Much of the iLab//Haiti staff's time during visits is spent teaching five local residents how to use everything, and how to think about the technology.
"We want to make sure they can take it and run with it … our goal is that they can teach others," Ganim said. "We are trying to design ourselves out of the program."
It's the old idea that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; but if you teach a man how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
Doing that has come with many surprises though.
"We go down there with a plan, and how things unfold are entirely different in Haiti," Ganim said. "There are areas they are extremely adept at and way more advanced than we expected; and then there are things we were like, 'Whoa, we never counted on this!'"
The iLab//Haiti crew is returning to Haiti at the end of January and are planning on going back down again in April. They are looking for donations to offset their traveling expenses.
The printers and ABS filament they use were supplied by MakerBot Chief Product Officer Rob Stein, who also donated his own money to the project.
"He said he really believes in what we are doing," Dara said. "He also said he believes iLab//Haiti shares the same goals as MakerBot, in that it is using technology and innovation to come up with solutions to problems."
KIDmob was established in 2010 to introduce middle school children to 21st century skills through design thinking.
"We work at the intersection of youth, community and design," Ganim said.