3-D Printed Prosthetics That Look Fit For A Sci-Fi Warrior

Losing a limb is tragic and traumatic, but a bevy of companies are using the power of 3-D printers to bring high design to a backwater of medical devices. Bespoke Innovation treats artificial limbs like works of art and the e-Nable project uses low-cost 3D printers to create high-power hands.

Now William Root, a recent graduate from the Pratt Institute in New York City, has developed a system to 3D print super-lightweight prosthetic legs with stealth styling.

Called Exo, Root’s prosthetic concept combines his interests in aesthetics and biomechatronics, as well as inquiries into the preferences of amputees. “In my research it became clear to me that there is a lot wrong with how designers typically try to approach a prosthetic limb and how the industry goes about making prostheses,” says Root. “Prostheses are not aesthetically pleasing, extremely expensive, and difficult to produce.”

Root’s improved process starts by making a scan of the patient’s anatomy. He envisions using a technology from MIT’s Biomechatronics lab called FitSocketwhich uses an array of pressure sensors to gauge the softness or stiffness of a patient’s remaining tissue. With this data, a nearly perfect “socket,” the term for the interface between the patient’s body and prosthetic, can be manufactured. … (read more)

Source: Wired.com