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CAD/CAM Corner
3D Systems' Custom Prosthetics Ooze Personality
6/25/2012

Rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach to prosthetics design, Bespoke employs 3D scanning and 3D printing to create specialized coverings that restore the lost contour of a leg while injecting a personal flair.   (Source: Bespoke/3D Systems)
Rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach to prosthetics design, Bespoke employs 3D scanning and 3D printing to create specialized coverings that restore the lost contour of a leg while injecting a personal flair.
(Source: Bespoke/3D Systems)

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Rob Spiegel
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New work for 3D printing
Rob Spiegel   6/25/2012 12:15:05 PM
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What an interesting application for 3D printing. I would imagine this would also be easy to change, thus accessorizing to facade of the prosthetic.  

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: New work for 3D printing
Ann R. Thryft   6/25/2012 1:59:28 PM
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Customized prosthetics seems like a good idea to conform to the different anatomical structures of individuals as well as to reflect their different esthetic taste. I wonder if considering the esthetics of prosthetics might catch on.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: New work for 3D printing
Rob Spiegel   6/25/2012 2:42:51 PM
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It's an interesting twist on the history of prosthetics, moving from flesh-colored cloggy prosthetics to a very techy look, back to a facade. In the old days, the look was rather limited. I had an Afro-American friend in the 1970s who has a prosthetic leg that was pinkish orange, what was called flesh colored. He had one choice in color.

Charles Murray
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Re: New work for 3D printing
Charles Murray   6/25/2012 7:26:48 PM
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This is a beautiful example of the value of 3D printing. As Beth points out, it offers a customized design, instead of a one-type-fits-all design, which would be the case in volume production.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: New work for 3D printing
Beth Stackpole   6/26/2012 7:42:33 AM
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I'm currently researching a slide show on the use of 3D printing in medical applications and the common theme is enabling customization. As prices come down on this technology, it is opening doors to so many new and cool applications where patients can get the comfort and high utilization of custom-fit prosthetics. Stay tuned.

Leebr
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Re: New work for 3D printing
Leebr   6/26/2012 12:01:07 PM
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While these shells are pretty neat looking, They have no connection to the fit or function of the prosthesis. 999 out of 1000 amputees whould much rather have a prosthetic covering that makes the prosthesis disappear, not stand out. Many of the amputees have also experienced a significant income reduction as a result of the amputation. (which is often accompanied by a host of other medical conditions) Many insurance companies won't even cover a prosthesis any more, let alone a cosmetic cover. Given these realities, this 3D cover has a very small number of potential customers.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: New work for 3D printing
Beth Stackpole   6/27/2012 7:49:35 AM
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@Leebr: You raise some real valid points about the utility and appeal of these custom covers, especially as it relates to cost and insurance coverage. That's a definite market demand issue that 3D Systems/Bespoke will have to address. But in terms of looking at it through the prism of the evolution and utility of 3D printing, it's pretty cool.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: New work for 3D printing
Rob Spiegel   6/26/2012 12:59:42 PM
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Good point, Chuck. I would imagine this could be big for users who will gain some control over their appearance. It could take the sting out of the prosthetic as something you have to hide.

Greg M. Jung
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Personal Expression
Greg M. Jung   6/25/2012 4:50:09 PM
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Someone with an artistic flair could now come up with some eye-catching and and imaginative designs.  Good new way for personal expression.

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