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.
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.
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.
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.
@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.
In his keynote address at the RAPID 2015 conference last week, Made In Space CTO Jason Dunn gave an update on how far his company and co-development partner NASA have come in their quest to bring 3D printing to the space station -- and beyond.
On Memorial Day, Americans remember the sacrifices the US armed forces have made, and continue to make, in service to the country. All of us should also consider the developments in technological capabilities and equipment over the years that contribute to the success of our military operations.
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