On November 2nd, 2013, 23-year-old Nova Scotia resident Natasha Hope-Simpson was leaving a pub when she was struck by a car. The driver fled the scene, leaving Hope-Simpson with a badly mangled leg that, ultimately, had to be amputated from the knee down. Months later, after being released from the hospital, she visited her alma mater, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, which issued her a challenge to design her own personalized prosthetic.
Challenge accepted. In two weeks’ time, Hope-Simpson, along with a team of volunteers from NovaCAD and Thinking Robot Studios, created a design using Geomagic Freeform software by 3D Systems. It was printed on a ProJet 7000 SLA 3D printer using Quickparts, 3D Systems’ cloud manufacturing service. The final product not only let Hope-Simpson walk again, but allowed her to wear a unique piece of art.
“I thought about femininity in a way of using patterns,” she said. “I ended up finding a pattern online that I liked from an artist in New York, Melissa Ng.”
The design was based on Ng’s 3D printed masks, with a beautifully filigreed design that fits Hope-Simpson’s artistic personality.
“I was new to the world of prosthetics,” she adds. “So when I saw the actual piece, it was really exciting to see what’s possible.”
Since then, Hope-Simpson has been working on prosthetic research and design, with the goal of making fully customized prosthetics like hers available to a mass audience. Watch the video below to learn more about the process that went into designing and creating her new leg:
On November 17th, 3D Systems will host a webinar about how to use 3D printing software to create customized, affordable prosthetics. Hope-Simpson, who has been working with Thinking Robot Studios to develop a range of customized prosthetics, will discuss her research and demonstrate her design process using Geomagic Freeform and Geomagic Touch haptic devices.
“It is truly heartwarming to see how our digital thread of software and printing technologies can impact a person’s quality of life,” said Calvin J. Hur, 3D Systems Vice President, co-Chief Operating Officer and Chief Revenue Officer, Software. “By making these tools accessible, we are helping to transform ideas into outcomes and enabling personal and customizable products that are not only functional, but aesthetically beautiful and suited to the unique style of the individual.”
The webinar requires pre-registration and will begin at 11:00 AM EDT. Topics discussed will include the role 3D printing plays in rapid production of end-use parts, as well as how the technologies are revolutionizing the mass customization and localized production of prosthetics. It will also focus on 3D Systems printers and how they are being used to create prototypes, and will discuss the research being conducted to discern the best SLS and SLA materials that will comprise the finished products.
Have you pre-registered for this event? Let us know in the 3D Printed Prosthetic Webinar forum thread on 3DPB.com.