Improving 3D-Printed Prosthetics and Integrating Electronic Sensors
With the growth of 3D printing, it’s entirely possible to 3D print your own prosthetic from models found in open-source databases.
But those models lack personalized electronic user interfaces like those found in costly, state-of-the-art prosthetics.
Now, a Virginia Tech professor and his interdisciplinary team of undergraduate student researchers have made inroads in integrating electronic sensors with personalized 3D-printed prosthetics — a development that could one day lead to more affordable electric-powered prosthetics.
This newly published research out of the lab of Blake Johnson, a Virginia Tech assistant professor in industrial and systems engineering, took a step forward in improving the functionalities of 3D-printed personalized wearable systems.
By integrating electronic sensors at the intersection between a prosthetic and the wearer’s tissue, the researchers can gather information related to prosthetic function and comfort, such as the pressure across wearer’s tissue, that can help improve further iterations of the these types of prosthetics.