AMS Spring 2023

KAFO Splint — 3D Printed Leg Brace Customized for a Perfect Fit

6K SmarTech

Share this Article

Or Steiner KAFO SplintThe KAFO Splint is a customizable, lightweight, fashionable – and functional – leg brace design. Industrial designer, Or Steiner gave the old-fashioned leg brace a modern update which fuses the aesthetically pleasing with the strength needed to support a patient.

If you need them, there is no substitute for braces or splints. Whether as a result of injury or illness, the need to support the full weight of a patient is crucial to their comfort and mobility. In the KAFO Splintpast, such braces left much to be desired when it comes to function and looks.

Steiner, a former student at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, came across 3D printing technology when he sought to make models for his product designs, and his medical device design was the result of a chance meeting with a patient named Ron who had been in an accident some years before.

The accident left Ron dependent on a wheelchair or a set of leg braces and crutches, but the heavy and uncomfortable design of the braces made him unwilling to wear them at all.

KAFO Splint 3To come up with something useful, Steiner began to work on a personalized set of braces which would be both fashionable and practical.

“The brace has several essential parts: some catch the thigh and calf back, sit on the knee ligament, a strong skeleton through a brace from the thigh to the foot, a knee hinge and a foot pad that secures it at an angle of 90 degrees,” Steiner says. “Current braces are cumbersome, heavy, not aesthetic, and Ron did not frequently use them. I wanted to design braces and crutches with an advanced technology so that those who need them want to use them.”

This “KAFO Splint,” is solid enough to provide stability, but the open design allows for airflow, and as an added bonus, 3D scanning technology means each KAFO Splint can easily be adapted perfectly to fit a patient’s body.  Steiner used the rigid opaque black version of Stratasys’ 3D VeroBlack material to provide the strength and support required to build the KAFO Splint.

“The main advantages are that it is customized and personalized to the user,” Steiner told the Stratasys Blog. “The 3D print can look like a regular product that was created using injection molding, but it’s actually custom made. The design possibilities are great, and the finished product can be very attractive.”

The KAFO Splint was built using an Objet1000 Multi-material 3D Production System following months of trial sketches and designs. According to Steiner, he was particularly pleased that his design could be printed in one piece, and even though the KAFO Splint covers most of a patient’s leg, the entire finished 3D print fit easily within the one-meter build tray of the Objet1000 printer.


KAFO Splint 2

Have you seen other versions of medical devices or splints which were entirely 3D printed? Let us know in the Lightweight Leg Brace forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: December 4, 2022

3D Printing News Briefs, December 3, 2022: Degradable Polymers & 3D Printed Trophies



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Wimba Aims to Mainstream 3D Printed Animal Prosthetics

While additive manufacturing (AM) has been used to produce prosthetics for humans and animals, there have yet to be many dedicated businesses for applying the technology strictly to making them...

Featured

A First-Timer’s “Definitive” Guide to Surviving Formnext

Believe it or not, this year was my very first time attending the additive manufacturing (AM) industry powerhouse event known as formnext, which has been held in Germany for eight...

Sponsored

Desktop Metal: AM 2.0 Highlights from the Formnext Show Floor

Formnext, the leading international platform for Additive Manufacturing and industrial 3D Printing, returned in full swing to the halls of the Frankfurt convention center in Germany this November. With challenging...

3D Printing News Briefs, November 26, 2022: 3D Printed Coral Reefs & Moon Habitat & More

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, Carbon’s bioabsorbable elastomer platform is biocompatible in vivo, while researchers in Germany and Australia developed a 3D printing resin and dedicated printer that enable...