Business-to-Business publisher WTWH Media, LLC, has announced that Dave King of British Columbia, Canada, has won the company’s generative design contest, with his entry detailing how to make prosthetics more comfortable.
CAD programs continue to evolve to meet the needs of industry, incorporating the ever-increasing computational power available to design engineers. From their humble beginnings, these programs have added helpful design tools such as FEA and CFD. Today, the groundbreaking new design tool is topology optimization.
3D printing is often used to develop prosthetics and King came up with an idea to make these devices more comfortable. Instead of the typical cotton sock and silicone liner, King’s idea is to develop a silicone liner with an internal hydraulic system that is activated by weight on a chamber that pushes fluid into passages to expand the liner for greater comfort.
Weight applied to the prosthetic expands the hard outer socket and the limb and causes the liner to expand and tighten and grip the stump. When the weight comes off fluid returns to base and relaxes the grip making fit more comfortable.
Pulsing pressure has other effects, one major one is it being felt by non-traumatized areas of skin on the stump giving feedback to user when weight is on or off the prosthetic foot. This vital feedback is normally generated by weight on the missing foot. It is like trying to walk on a leg that is asleep or gone numb. Second benefit is that it massages the limb. This reduces the chronic edema that is a common problem to amputations. Third it optionally locks ankle or knee joints.
King will receive one year’s usage license of Solid Edge Premium plus Solid Edge Generative Design Pro, as well as a desktop 3D printer from BeeVeryCreative to realize their vision. BEETHEFIRST+ is an easy-to-use, plug & play, multi-material and portable 3D printer, specially designed for professionals.