Korea: 3D Printed Protection Suits for Senior Citizens

Share this Article

In the recently published ‘Developing Fall-Impact Protection Pad with 3D Mesh Curved Surface Structure Using 3D Printing Technology,’ authors Jung Hyun Park and Jeong Ran Lee once again prove our point that 3D printing is affecting nearly every industry today—and positively so.

Here, the researchers raised the concern of the ease in which the elderly are injured by falls, which are all too common. With their new concept for 3D printed fall-impact protection pads, seniors may not be able to prevent falls that usually occur due to balance issues with age, health conditions, dizziness due to medical treatments, failing eyesight and more, but they may be able to survive them much better.

Park and Lee, both hailing from Pusan National University in Korea, present a design for curved protective pads that could be printed directly from scans of patients, allowing for individually-specific treatment—one of the greatest benefits of 3D printing in the medical realm today. And assistance is obviously much needed in this area as reports from Korea show that increasing numbers of elderly Koreans are taking such serious falls that they must be hospitalized; in fact, some remain in the hospital for over two weeks—often due to broken hips.

“It is becoming increasingly important to prevent the elderly from falling. Wearing hip protectors can prevent falls or reduce the damage caused by falling,” explain the researchers. “However, existing hip protectors are not suitable for use with daily clothes; they are not widely utilized because of aesthetic limitations. Furthermore, they are not comfortable. Therefore, it is necessary to develop an optimized impact protector with due consideration for body characteristics and motion.

“Additionally, it is necessary to improve the wearing satisfaction by designing the impact protector in a form that is suited to the shape and motion of the human body while maintaining its protection performance.”

Park and Lee point out, and are quite right, that so far 3D printing with any type of clothing has mainly been dedicated to fashion—and with spectacular results, from haute couture to high heels.

The 3D modeling process included creating a baseline for body scan data, making an outline, and then using a pad outline along the patient’s body—making a curve to mimic the human body. Afterward, they created a hexagonal mesh structure, with the pad completed by transforming the mesh structure—according to the curves of the body.

The 3D printed pads were fabricated via FDM 3D printing using a Cubicon Single 3D printer, chosen due to its capabilities for using more flexible materials; thus, a flexible TPU was used for creating the padded materials.

Picture of the impact performance test equipment.

The researchers were forced to divide printing of the pads due to size:

“The radial split method for dividing pieces into three by 120° from the center point of the pad, and the elliptical split method for dividing pieces into four according to the sideline and curved surface were used,” explained the researchers.

Once supports were removed, the parts were stitched together. Overall, the parts proved to be ‘structurally flexible,’ and the modeling proved to be excellent for creating the necessary protection.

“Through several iterative experiments, we developed a reasonable and delicate modeling method that yielded results which are applicable to research on clothing and other fields,” stated the researchers. “Existing 3D printing technology has been deployed to produce very hard products; however, in this study, the printing conditions were finely set, in consideration of the complex characteristics of flexible filament materials. Finally, we believe that our findings foreground the possibility of using 3D printing technology to print complex and elaborate shapes in the field of functional clothing.”

Procedure of body baseline setting (a) and human body scan data processing (b).

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts; join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

Steps of creating pad outline and base surface: (a) rotate and place pad outline by section; (b) transform pad outlines to fit surfaces; (c) rebuild curve; and (d) create network surface.

[Source / Images: ‘Developing Fall-Impact Protection Pad with 3D Mesh Curved Surface Structure Using 3D Printing Technology’]

Share this Article


Recent News

MX3D Uses Robot Arm to 3D Print Robot Arm, Installs it on Robot (D)

3DTrust Releases Intelligent Powder Management Solution for Quality Control



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D printed automobiles

3D Printed Food


You May Also Like

Using Ultrasonic Waves to Analyze Residual Stress in 3D Printed Metal Parts

Researchers from the Czech Republic and Brazil have come together to highlight ultrasonic testing for stress analysis in ‘Residual stress analysis of additive manufacturing of metallic parts using ultrasonic waves:...

Velo3D Secures Further $12M in Funding for Metal 3D Printing

After already securing $28 million in a series-D round of investment just this April, Velo3D has announced an additional $12 million in funding for the series. This brings the total...

3D Systems Streamlines Software for Reverse Engineering

3D Systems has announced the latest versions of its Geomagic Design X and Geomagic Wrap  software, this time claiming “first-to-market capabilities” for streamlining workflows and improving design precision. New features...

3D Printing News Briefs: May 12, 2020 Nanofabrica, Voxeljet, Elementum, AMPOWER

We’re all business today in 3D Printing News Briefs – Nanofabrica has raised $4 million in funding, and voxeljet is expanding its presence in India. Elementum 3D has achieved an...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.