Rapid Prototyping Technology in Medicine
Current Rapid Prototyping (RP) technology allows for single step manufacturing of complex mechanisms with embedded parts. The ability to quickly move from concept to workable prototype is essential in a fast-paced field such as medicine. RP technology is being implemented currently in all major fields of medicine: dentistry, surgery, medical modeling, orthopedics and prosthetics. However, there are many new and interesting ways to utilize this impressive technology both within medicine and in industry. Developments in three dimensional scanning have made it possible to get accurate 360-degree models of nearly anything with extreme accuracy. Software capable of converting this data into workable computer aided design (CAD) models is currently being used to manipulate this data and allow for the use of RP very quickly. The non-invasive scanning technique makes this technology ideal for medical applications. Several different concepts were considered, however, the design of a patient specific ankle-foot orthotic (AFO) was chosen. This orthotic device will be used to help stabilize the ankle-foot region in patients with limited mobility, and more specifically drop foot. The purpose of this device is to match or exceed the comfort and effectiveness of a standard orthotic while being matched to the patient's specific needs and anatomy.
rapid prototyping (RP), orthotic device
Northeastern University, Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Caddle, Alyssa Q.; Gilhooly, Kara; Govoni, Lauren; Sivak, Mark; and Sivak, Seith, "Design of Patient-Specific Ankle-Foot Orthotics" (2007). Capstone Design Program: Mechanical Engineering. Paper 47. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d10011638
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