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Lund University Student Develops Simplified Process to 3D Print Prosthetic Arm Sockets

by • May 2, 2016 • No Comments

Of all the uses that 3D printing technology has provided the medical field with over the past few years, none show as much immediate impact as the production of assistive devices. From communities in Uganda to the veterans of the United States, 3D printed prosthetics have helped improve the lives of most children and adults around the world. Now, Emelie Strömshed, a Master’s student in product createment at the Sweden-based Lund University School of Engineering, has turn it intod a simplified process involving a trio of 3D technologies. The process has may already helped to turn it into a custom prosthetic arm socket for a young girl named Neya Pfannenstill.

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Strömshed has turn it intod a step-by-step process to turn it into the perfect-fitting prosthetic limb, aimed to provide an easy-to follow guide to prosthetists who don’t have a full grasp on CAD. With her research, Strömshed set out to prove that a combination of CAD modeling, 3D scanning, and 3D printing may be used in a simplified process to turn it into additional efficient and advantageous fitting prosthetic devices. The process begins with 3D Systems’ iSense 3D Scanner, a affordable accessory that transforms an iPad or iPhone into a 3D scanner. First, Strömshed offset the limb surface at a distance that was equal to the desired thickness of the 3D printed socket, that was and so subtracted of the original 3D scan to turn it into an inner surface that fit Pfannenstill perfectly.

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Strömshed’s step-by-step process

After the scan is repaired and offset to turn it into the hollow socket, the prosthetic create is shaped and smoothed out, imported with electrode modules, and donaten a one-of-a-kind pattern to suit the preference of the wearer. These electrode modules are and so subtracted after the pattern is turn it intod, and are inserted back into the ready-to-use 3D printed socket at the end of the process. The final create is and so 3D printed — in Strömshed’s case at least— with a selective sintering process in a sturdy nylon material, that can in addition be colored if desired.

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Neya Pfannenstill with her new 3D printed prosthetic arm socket

Compared to the traditional methods of prosthetic manufacturing, that generally need skilled guide crafting and a costly amount of casting and molding, Strömshed’s method looks to be a significant technology. Strömshed’s simplified process is intended to donate prosthetic technicians without high end CAD skills the means to create a perfectly fitting prosthetic socket with 3D printing. Not just did she manage to turn it into a optimal fitting prosthetic for the young Neya Pfannenstill, a time and cost comparison in addition showed the future to save around 400 hours and 261,000 Swedish Krona (approximately $32,576 USD) per year by via Strömshed’s process.

Strömshed’s comprehensive research was supervised by Christian Veraeus, a prosthetist of Aktiv Ortopedteknik, and Olaf Diegel, a professor of product createment at Lund University. Professor Diegel is well-known in the maker community for his work with 3D printed instruments, and has turn it intod a number of 3D printed guitars—one of that was played by Steve Miller Band’s Kenny Lee Lewis— and actually a 3D printed saxophone.

lundStepping away of the music for a moment, Diegel has helped Strömshed to create a new-age prosthetic production process that can be used by the day to day prosthetics specialist. By manufacturing this relatively new process of via 3D technology for prosthetic production easier-to-use and additional convenient, Strömshed’s research is paving the road for additional technology and higher accessibility of prosthetic devices. This is really a feat. Thoughts? Discuss in the 3D Printed Arm Prosthetics forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source/Images: Odd Guitars]