Sabita, our first prosthetic recipient.
What We Do
We Work With Hospitals
We help hospitals get their feet wet in 3d printing and scanning, providing training, and access to printers to let them decide whether this technology is right for them.
Train P&O Professionals
We hold free group training, and individual training for prosthetists and orthotists enabling them to serve their patients with new technologies.
"Prosthesis have been around in many forms, often rudimentary, for thousands of years and have been helping people with disabilities to take back some control of their functions lost due to missing limbs.
In the modern age prosthesishave been developed from space age materials with advanced electronics to make them as real and functional for the human form as possible. This has been a blessing in general but the costs associated with customization have kept the technology from becoming a mass scale success.
Things are beginning to change rapidly since the advent of home use 3D printing machines and development of easy to use software. If this sounds to good to be true then prepare to be amazed at how science fiction has become science fact.
What Is 3d Printing Exactly?
First lets look at what 3D printing exactly means. It is a method by which three-dimensional objects can be created from a digital design file using an additive manufacturing process. If that was too technical then lets just say that layers upon layers of material is laid down on top of each other until a desired form is created. The printer oozes out a thin plastic filament layer by layer forming a thin cross section that eventually ends up taking a specified shape.
So now if you have understood how the process works, imagine if you have a small desktop 3D printer, then all you need is a CAD file with a design to start building any object you want limited only by the size of the printing plate. The CAD (computer aided design) software slices the shape into horizontal sections, which is then read by the printer and built step by step.
Coming back to the issue of prosthesis one can easily see the immense potential that 3D printing brings to the table in terms of practicality, customization and cost reduction.
First let look at the costs involved. A commercially available prosthetic can cost from $5000 to north of 60 to 70 thousand dollars depending on the technology used. Customization is not easy on a mass scale, as each special person needs to be fitted in different ways. 3D printing can bring the costs down to a few hundred dollars. Infact some entrepreneurs have built $50 limbs. That is a fact and it has been made possible with 3D printing technology.
Another important advantage with the cheap cost is that children can be fitted with these prosthetics and they can get new versions as their body outgrows the old ones. This has not been possible before and only fully-grown adults were able to get high tech prosthetics that they wouldn’t outgrow.
The ease of customization also means that prosthesis printed on 3D printers will be increasingly more comfortable and adaptable for the users as they can adjust and tweak the parts to their liking."