Additive Manufacturing Strategies

3D Universe Introduces Skin Tone Filaments for 3D Printed Prosthetics

ST Medical Devices

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[Image: e-NABLE]

e-NABLE has done wonderful things for people with missing limbs, particularly children, allowing them free access to prosthetic hands and arms that can even make them look like superheroes or princesses. 3D printing can be used to easily create prosthetics in bright, flashy colors, which kids tend to love. But what if you’re an adult – or a child – who would rather have a more subtle prosthetic hand, one that matches your skin tone as closely as possible? There isn’t a whole lot of flesh-toned filament readily available, but that’s changing now thanks to 3D Universe, a retailer and founding member of the e-NABLE community.

3D Universe tuned in to the thousands of people who wanted to blend in with the crowd, rather than stand out, and used the feedback to create four new skin tone colors of PETG filament.

“We did a lot of research on skin tones throughout the world,” Jeremy Simon of 3D Universe told e-NABLE. “We, humans, come in so many beautiful colors, but we had to pick four since that’s what our initial budget allowed for. We wanted to pick those that would match the broadest possible range of skin tones. We reviewed work like this and this. We also purchased the Pantone Skin Tone Guide.

“We asked the e-NABLE community to vote on which colors they would prefer. Based on that voting and our own research and inquiries, we ended up selecting four skin tones ranging from a caucasian skin tone to a dark brown color. The names for these colors are Rose Tan, Light Brown, Medium Brown, and Dark Brown. Additional colors may be added in the future, depending on how these are received by the e-NABLE community.”

3D Universe went with PETG instead of PLA because, like PLA, it is easy to print, but has higher temperature resistance and strength than PLA. PLA doesn’t hold up too well in hot, humid climates, Simon pointed out. PETG is also capable of thermoforming.

“3D Universe has supported ETF (Enabling the Future) for years because it aligns perfectly with our company’s mission to put digital fabrication technologies into the hands of as many people as possible,” Simon continued. “e-NABLE represents everything that got us excited about 3D printing in the first place – the potential to disrupt old manufacturing paradigms and to bring product design and production capabilities to ordinary people with small budgets. We want to support that and be a part of that progress in any way possible. 3D Universe maintains an affiliate program with ETF, with a portion of all e-NABLE related sales being used to help support ETF each month.”

With the new colors available from 3D Universe, people with missing limbs – especially in cultures where blending in is valued more than standing out – can feel more comfortable with their less noticeable prosthetic devices. The flesh-toned filaments are available now and can be purchased here. Each 750g spool is $34.99.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

 

 

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