Twinning solution

Self-designed 3D printed assistive devices

Twinning type

Full adoption

Main policy priority

Digital tools for citizen empowerment and for person-centred care


Centre Mutualiste de Rééducation et de Réadaptation Fonctionnelles de Kerpape (France)


City of Aarhus (Denmark), Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège (Belgium), Università Degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (Italy)

Short description

A REHAB-LAB is a fully integrated FabLab in a rehabilitation or a medico-social organisation, where patients create their own assistive devices using 3D printing. The idea behind the solution is to involve patients with disability into their rehabilitation process by designing devices which are also with higher specification responding to the personal needs.


Twinning activities

To achieve the twinning objectives, following activities were carried out: 3-day training session “Fundamentals”, analysis of local infrastructure for each adopter, 5-day training session “Running a REHAB-LAB”, implementation of the REHAB-LAB with equipment, deployment of a collaborative IT platform to start the development of the European REHAB-LAB community.


The twinning focused on the scaling up of REHAB-LAB, a fabrication laboratory integrated into a healthcare organisation where people with disability can design their own assistive devices using 3D printing. This person-centred care innovation using digital tools is promoted by Centre Mutualiste de Rééducation et de Réadaptation Fonctionnelles de Kerpape (the twinning originator), one of the biggest rehabilitation centres in France and the only one with an electronic laboratory inside and staff dedicated to the REHAB-LAB initiative. The objective of the twinning was two-fold. First, it transferred the REHAB-LAB innovative concept to three other European locations: City of Aarhus (Denmark), University Hospital of Liège (Belgium), University of Modena (Italy). Second, the twinning launched a collaborative IT platform to enable long-term collaboration. The global objective in the middle/long term is to enlarge the community with additional partners from all over Europe.

Added value and benefits

Even if the adopters have different backgrounds and cultures related to their national context, a common frame (previously approved with 15 other REHAB-LABs in France) was defined and shared. The two trainings were an expected value/benefit for the adopters for reaching a common goal: creating an operational REHAB-LAB by the end of the twinning and being part of a large European community. Another benefit for this twinning was the co-designed common charter, which provides a framework to share values and processes, notably about citizen/patient involvement but also regarding future challenges (such as the COVID-19 pandemic).

Barriers and success factors

Success factors of the twinning included ensuring to train people who will manage the REHAB-LAB, making adopters participate as much as possible and staying connected with adopters through a common tool (i.e. collaborative platform) to ensure development of practices. A barrier that presented itself during the twinning was that other stakeholders were not involved in the project.


The next steps for the twinning partners are the following: launching the collaborative platform to help partners collaborating after the twinning, merging the French REHAB-LAB community and starting the REHAB-LAB-4ALL twinning project with six more organisations across Europe.