This 3D-printed artificial limb prototype represents the use of innovative digital manufacturing technology to meet the enduring need for prosthetics, which has been experienced by individuals around the world and at all economic levels. This technology requires no medical specialists, only access to a tablet-based application and an easy-to-use scanner. This is of particular relevance to the developing world, where access to medical practitioners and equipment is limited. The technology represented by this prototype also has the benefit of bringing customized design to individuals on a very personalized level, since the underlying geometry of such prosthetic legs is derived from a 3D scan of the user’s remaining leg, taking into account the individual’s unique anatomy while restoring body symmetry. From an end-user’s viewpoint, the object is an example of the benefits of designing with body measurements and physical abilities in mind to achieve design standards that foster the creation of functional, durable, and aesthetically pleasing prosthetics that improve the quality of life.

This object is currently on view in Wyss Institute Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection.

December 3rd is International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

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