AMS Spring 2023

3D Printed Prosthetics: The Prosthetics and Orthotics Podcast on 3DPrint.com

Inkbit

Share this Article

If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed that, in addition to the 3DPOD, I participate in another podcast series, The Prosthetics and Orthotics Podcast, with Brent Wright, a Certified Orthotist and Prosthetist (CP BOC/O). Additive manufacturing (AM) and the world of prosthetics and orthotics seem to be on a collision course. Could this lead to better care? More functional prosthetics? Or is it just a passing trend? Join us on our journey, so that we can explore this together. You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Buzzsprout. You can also sign up for the RSS feed here.

Having worked in the field for over 20 years, Brent is probably the most experienced person worldwide in 3D printing for prosthetics. He’s adopted technologies, materials, software, procedures and inventions in advance of everyone most of the rest of the field. He’s also helped a lot of other people adopt 3D printing for prosthetics, as well. In addition to working at EastPoint Prosthetics and Orthotics, Brent runs LifeEnabled, a charity that brings prosthetics to underserved communities. He relies on AM to make prosthetics affordable and functional, particularly in a part of rural Guatemala that he has been giving care to for many years. He is now working to train and provide equipment to locals, so they can extend prosthetics treatment locally. You can donate to LifeEnabled to aid in the development of 3D printed prosthetics: $150 means the donation of a below-the-knee prosthesis, while $50 can buy the materials and labor for a prosthetic foot for $50. Please do so, I’ve donated and I can’t remember when anything made me quite this happy.

Currently we have over 33 episodes, where we talk to patients, researchers, clinicians and inventors to see what is happening in orthotics, prosthetics, and digitization. Below you can listen to the first episode, in which we discuss the rationale for doing the podcast, as well as the digitization of prosthetics.

The world of prosthetics and orthotics has been a remarkably artisanal one until recently. Traditionally, many prostheses were made of wood, and by hand to boot. Individual prosthetists or small firms prided themselves on skills honed over decades. Personal service and a holistic, long-term and caring relationship with patients were the norm. All of this is changing, however.

More and more components are being pre-made for these devices. CNC milling and 3D printing are revolutionizing how prosthetics are being made. Wood is being replaced by filled polymers and carbon fiber. Molds and mold making are now important aspects of the industry. Robotics and electronics are becoming increasingly present in devices. Larger firms are disrupting manufacturing and retail. Insurers are making their presence felt, as well.

Probably the biggest trend in prosthetics is digitization. 3D scanning, CAD and other software, and 3D printers are making a big difference in both the market for orthoses and prosthetics. Check sockets are being 3D printed, as are prototypes, insoles, and inserts. Where does it all end? Will 3D printing fundamentally change the making of orthoses and prosthetics? Or will there be a few changes on the back end, but few that will be noticeable for patients? Will 3D printing impact only lower limb prosthetics, but do nothing for others? Will 3D printing be adopted by some, but avoided by others? These are all things that we do not know, but which Brent and I explore in our podcast.

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: January 29, 2023

3D Printing News Briefs, January 28, 2023: Bronze-Steel Alloys, 3D Printing on Textiles, & More



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Featured

How to Win at 3D Printing Acquisitions: the Sandvik Example

As the 3D printing market continues a new phase of growth, this time fueled more likely by large, existing holders of capital, we will see more interesting plays by larger...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: January 22, 2023

For this weekend’s roundup, the TIPE 3D Printing Conference kicks things off with its third iteration on Tuesday, and ASTM International will hold an AM construction workshop. There will also...

3D Printing News Briefs, January 21, 2023: 3D Printing Camp for Kids, Medical Devices, & More

Let’s get kids 3D printing! Kicking off 3D Printing News Briefs today, Anycubic and Yale Funbotics held virtual camps to introduce children to 3D modeling and 3D printing. Moving on...

3D Printing News Briefs, January 19, 2023: Metal AM Standard, Inkjet 3D Printing, & More

We’re beginning with standards news in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, before moving on to a business collaboration and a new facility. Risk management and quality assurance provider DNV released...