The Possibilities For Prosthetics As a Result Of 3-D Printing
In only a few years, 3D printing has evolved into a next-generation manufacturing technology that has the power to transform multiple industries, including the orthotics and prosthetics industry. Because of the low cost of both printers and materials and the constantly evolving technologies, 3D printing has the power to change the future of technology.
In the realm of prosthetics, 3D printing is a newly-introduced and rapidly evolving aspect in the field. There have been numerous instances where the presence of 3D printing has made a big impact. For example, in the 2016 Paralympics a fencer competed using a 3D-printed back brace, crediting it’s perfect form to her success in the games. Additionally, because of their affordability and ability to be customized, products that were 3D printed are often used for children who will quickly grow out of their prosthetics or orthotics. Lastly, there are also many veterans who are benefiting from the new use of 3D printed products in prosthetics and orthotics.
Because 3D printing is improving so rapidly, it’s connection to adjustable sockets is clear. 3D printed devices are custom fitted to every individual patient. Adjustable sockets already provide an added degree of adjustability, and combining that with perfectly made custom products would allow for more comfort and support for a much lower price. And looking toward the future, this technology could give patients the ability to design their own product. Exciting stuff!
If a product wasn’t working for a patient they could easily, quickly, and cheaply change what they were using. Through 3D printing more freedom could emerge for the patient and could create a new industry centered around comfortable and custom products that are available at a very affordable price. 3D printing has the potential to change the prosthetics and orthotics industry and improve adjustable sockets.
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