Artificial limbs using 3D-printing
Artificial limbs with improved characteristics for the benefit of the users have been developed using various AM-processes . The digital development process and the manufacturing with AM, the ratio of time to market ratio have been considerably improved
Artificial limbs for the upper extremities are a typical example for highly indi-vidualized products with small production volume. Today’s conventional solu-tions still do not offer the required characteristics like low mass, simple and relia-ble use and low cost.
Since 2015, the research group of systems engineering is developing a modular system of artificial limbs for the upper extremities especially for children including an adaptive shaft, a clutch with integrated safety features and application specific prosthetic devices. Additive manufacturing processes like FDM, SLS or SLA are primarily applied. The modular kit contains components with each designed for system compatibility over the complete range of requirements.
The development process from the scanning of the arm stump, the integrated CAD/CAE process to the manufacturing of parts using the FDM or SLS-process is digitized. Therefore, the implementation of modifications is fast and easy. However, due to the specific properties of the material the design requires attention to compensate the relatively low strength and stiffness values accordingly.