Although the advancements in 3D printing have allowed prosthetists to custom-design affordable, lightweight, and highly functional prosthetic limbs for their patients, the materials used are often uncomfortable. Conventional 3D-printing materials tend to rub residual limbs the wrong way.
However, uncomfortable 3D-printed prosthetic limbs can now be left in the past as Essentium, a global leader in industrial additive manufacturing, announced its partnership with Vorum, a world leader in orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) design software. The partnership will produce a new line of biocompatible 3D printing materials, making 3D-printed prosthetic limbs more comfortable than before.
By bringing together their expertise, the Essentium and Vorum partnership aims to enable the 3D printing of custom O&P devices with optimal strength and weight. The former’s high-speed extrusion (HSE) 3D printing platform is designed for manufacturing parts at speed and scale and is supplemented by high-performance materials. Meanwhile, the latter offers the necessary 3D scanning and modeling technology to create custom designs for patients.
Furthermore, Vorum’s SurePath methodology will offer O&P practitioners assistance with installation and training. This methodology includes a transition plan, taking them from plaster-casting practices to 3D printing.
In an interview with Amplitude magazine, Vorum CEO Angela Saunders said that modern prosthetic limbs are typically designed with a more tight fit than older devices. This means that there is a need to consider how the prosthetic user’s skin might react when in direct contact with the prosthetic limb. This is where biocompatible materials can help.
According to Essentium CEO Blake Teipel, the company’s biocompatible materials and advanced 3D printing platforms will allow O&P practitioners to create better devices faster and cheaper than before. This also means that prosthetic limbs can now be more comfortable and affordable for many patients worldwide.For more information about biocompatible 3D printed prosthetics, we suggest consulting your prosthetist.