ARTIST

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page -

lower-limb am­putees to take part in de­sign­ing and cre­at­ing cov­ers for their pros­thet­ics.

The startup com­pany of­fers an app-and­desk­top in­ter­face that users can use to up­load the shape and di­men­sions of their de­vices — then pro­vide a de­sign of their choos­ing, whether it be a polka­dot pat­tern, pho­tos of friends and fam­ily, or the logo of a fa­vorite sports team.

Frazer and his team trans­late that data into com­put­er­ized blue­prints — the tem­plates that will be used to fab­ri­cate the cov­ers via 3-D print­ing.

By per­son­al­iz­ing the look of de­vices that too of­ten have an un­sightly “med­i­cal” ap­pear­ance, Frazer said, users can nor­mal­ize phys­i­cal con­di­tions that oth­er­wise might leave them feel­ing alien­ated.

The com­pany also re­flects an idea that has been gain­ing trac­tion in the bur­geon­ing startup uni­verse: Art and tech­nol­ogy can work to­gether in de­vel­op­ing ideas for busi­nesses that can make money while serv­ing the greater good.

Stephanie Chin is the for­mer di­rec­tor of a busi­ness in­cu­ba­tor and the as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of en­trepreneur­ship at MICA, where Frazer earned a de­gree in paint­ing in 2016.

She views him as a model for some artists in an in­creas­ingly tech­no­log­i­cal age.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing how he’s us­ing his back­ground as a painter and ended up do­ing 3-D pros­thetic cov­ers,” Chin said. “His story is a fas­ci­nat­ing nar­ra­tive about how artists are im­pact­ing our com­mu­nity.

“Win­ston is a re­ally in­ter­est­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the mod­ern-day cre­ative en­tre­pre­neur.”

Frazer runs his fiveem­ployee com­pany from a for­mer in­dus­trial ware­house that has been con­verted into an of­fice build­ing.

He is one of the most vis­i­ble in­di­vid­u­als in the place as he moves about shar­ing plans and dis­cov­er­ies, seek­ing and de­liv­er­ing ad­vice, and help­ing to con­nect sci­en­tists and en­trepreneurs.

“His com­pany is a great idea,” said Joshua Barnes, vice pres­i­dent of Har­bor De­signs, which works with com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als to de­velop new prod­ucts. “It’s a rel­a­tively sim­ple prod­uct to launch. It’s in de­mand. It doesn’t re­quire a lot of over­head. And he’s a mas­ter net­worker.”

Grow­ing up, Fra­zier ab­sorbed sci­en­tific vibes — a great un­cle worked on satel­lites, and an un­cle ran his own en­gi­neer­ing firm — but also was fas­ci­nated with pho­tog­ra­phy, draw­ing and paint­ing.

The trip to Sao Tome and Principe with a MICA pro­fes­sor hap­pened al­most by ac­ci­dent — an­other trip had fallen through.

Frazer con­tracted an in­testi­nal ill­ness dur­ing the trip and landed in the hos­pi­tal, where he met sev­eral am­putees.

He was im­pressed at their tenac­ity, he said, and touched by the way they felt os­tra­cized in the is­land cul­ture. He soon learned that am­putees world­wide strug­gle with self-con­scious­ness as well as phys­i­cal dis­com­fort.

Frazer plans a soft launch of his prod­uct line in May, with a pros­thetic cover re­tail­ing for about $900.

“What I’ve learned,” he said, “is that when cre­ative and sci­en­tific ap­proaches come to­gether, you’re go­ing to do bet­ter, more mean­ing­ful work.

“That’s why I’m do­ing what I’m do­ing.”

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