a 3D printing application that creates affordable, customized prosthetics, improving access to treatment for patients in the developing world.
Amputees in the developing world have few options for replacing lost limbs with effective prostheses. Child amputees are at a special disadvantage because they are still growing and require progressively bigger devices. Enter the University of Toronto’s Matt Ratto and CBM, an international NGO. They are using 3D printers to make precision-fitted plastic sockets that connect a child’s residual limb to standard artificial legs provided by aid agencies. Using the hardware and software designed by Ratto and his team, clinicians in the developing world can 3D scan a child’s limb and digitally design and print a socket in a few hours.
The resulting custom-fitted device uses about $3 of inexpensive plastic. It requires less than six hours to produce, which means the sockets can be replaced easily and cheaply as the child grows.