Advancements in 3D Printing for the fabrication of Customized Orthoses and Prostheses

Project ID: 1484

Cube proposed by: Kira Barton

Unit: Engineering

Cycle: MCubed 2.0

Cube Accomplishments
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About this project: 
In the medical field, assistive devices, in particular ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs), artificial limbs and increasingly robotics, are custom-made medical devices that correct for a variety of acquired or congenital defects in patients. The current, widely-adopted, manufacturing approach for fabricating AFOs is a plaster casting method that requires multiple fittings, a costly and time-intensive fabrication process, and results in repeated visits for adjustments and additional modifications. 3D printing with the use of fiber reinforced materials provides an alternative fabrication approach that has the potential to decrease production times, lower waste and energy consumption, decrease costs, and improve AFO customization and user performance. This M-Cube project considers the development of a new 3D printing process for fiber reinforced materials that is capable of continuous fiber deposition along a contoured trajectory; a necessary requirement to meet this need.