The Application of Rapid Prototyping for the Design and Manufacturing of Transtibial Prosthetic Socket
This study aims to employ the technology of rapid prototyping for the development of a process that is to assist a prosthetist for easily designing and manufacturing a prosthetic socket for specific transtibial amputee. Currently, the production of prosthetic socket still depends on prosthetists’ skills and expertise. To improve its tedious process, quality uncertainty, and lack of experienced prosthetists, the benefits of using rapid prototyping (RP) technology together with computer-aided systems will be expecting goals. This article demonstrated the feasibility of producing RP sockets using a fused deposition modeling (FDM) machine, and a prototype system that allows a prosthetist to easily design prosthetic sockets has been developed. This proposed computer-aided engineering process, which is plaster-free method, is expected to replace the manual process of conventional approach of fabricating prosthetic sockets. Furthermore, since thin-layer RP socket is easily broken, coating a resin layer on RP socket to enforce its strength is underway.
Sheng-Jye Hwang and Sen-Yung Lee
L.H. Hsu et al., "The Application of Rapid Prototyping for the Design and Manufacturing of Transtibial Prosthetic Socket", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 594, pp. 273-280, 2008