Posted May 29, 2013 by Em Ramser in Products & Tech
 
 

3-D Printers Make Prosthetic Limbs

Prosthetics get personal with customizable choices from Bespoke

Bespoke is giving amputees new options when it comes to prostheses. They have created specialized “Fairings”, which are 3-D printed, uniquely designed coverings for traditional leg prostheses.

The Fairings are created by three-dimensionally scanning the body to capture the consumer’s unique leg shape. Bilateral amputees can have another person of similar body shape stand in for their scanning. The consumer then creates a custom design by picking from an array of form templates, patterns, tattoos, materials, metal plating and graphics.

Fairings are designed for, and with, the amputee, giving them total control over what the finished product looks like. They have the ability to choose if they want tattoos lasered or embossed onto their Fairing, or if they would like a specific finish such as ballistic nylon, leather or mirror-polished metal. They can make it look however they want, making each one 100% individualized for every customer.

Prosthetic-Limb-Style

Fairings not only return the lost contour, they invite an expression of personality and individuality that has never before been possible.” -Bespoke

Prosthetic-Limb-Tattoo

Not only can the design be stylized, but the Fairings can be individualized for the situations they will most likely be in. For example a lightweight, polymer Sports Fairing is more durable than others and can stand up to the abuse of a sporting event without the user having to fear that it will break.

Prosthetic-Limb-Sport

Fairings cost between $4,000 and $6,000 dollars on average depending on the finish materials used and the complexity of the design. However, it’s Bespoke’s hope that in the near future the cost will be covered by insurance.

 

Prostheses of all types have long focused solely on functionality, but Bespoke is changing that notion by looking into the design aspect behind artificial limbs. Their goal is to make amputees as comfortable and as happy with their prosthetic limbs as they can.

Bespoke is currently creating Fairings only for lower leg prostheses, but they’ve opened the door to creating similar coverings for other prosthetic limbs. This could help amputees to feel more confident about their protheses.

Would you wear one of Bespoke’s Fairings? If so, what would you want your Fairing to look like? If not, why not? Let us know in the comments below!


Em Ramser

 
The world is filled with many strange things, and Emily enjoys finding out about them by writing. Her daily habits including writing, browsing webcomics, more writing, a cup of coffee, editing and Magic the Gathering tournaments (she runs a blue/black mill deck). Writing is her life (except for her Dr. Who breaks). She is currently pursuing a degree in English and Creative Writing at Salem College.