3D printing services are going to be used for all sorts of things, so we are being told, I’m sure this is true but it seems that people are struggling to come up with that many uses for 3D Printing services outside of rapid prototyping and creating a few cool pieces of artwork.
There are still relatively few businesses selling 3D printed products on a large scale but Scott Summit is one of those who has managed to come up with an innovative use of 3D printing that really adds a lot of value compared to the alternatives.
Scott’s business Bespoke Innovations make body parts, mainly legs, and to do this they use a 3D printer. Usually prosthetic limbs are based on standard molds of different sizes and extra material may be added to get a limb to match an existing one. With a bespoke new leg then you instantly have an advantage with 3D printing, the prosthetic can be modeled exactly on your other leg if you have one, or if you are after a pair they can be designed to match your body type.
Use of 3D printing for legs doesn’t finish there though, while some people are happy to have a leg that looks natural when covered by a pair of trousers some would rather not try and hide that they have a prosthetic and instead decide to flaunt them.
Losing a limb can be a very emotional experience, you lose a part of yourself in more ways than one and having something artificial in its place, which doesn’t feel a part of you can be disconcerting. By working with Bespoke though you can have a leg or arm made to your requirements or even get involved in the design yourself.
Using a 3D printing Service Bespoke can print a new limb from a 3D CAD file, that CAD file can be edited to give a limb detailing such as seemingly carved designs, designs that look like metal or leather or patterns in wrought iron: which can all be printed in a color of your choice.
The team working at Bespoke include artists who can do a design based on your own tastes and interests but its up to you how closely you work with them: if you know how to use CAD yourself there’s no reason you can’t do the design yourself. In any case though, using their 3D printing service means you end up with a leg that feels much more a part of you and becomes something people admire rather than see and feel sorry for you.
3D printing services seem ideal for this application and then on top of this there is another big advantage, cost: believe it or not these limbs cost about a tenth as much as traditionally made prosthetic limbs with exactly the same or better comfort features and quality of joints. Costs are kept down because a mold doesn’t have to be set for every leg and the 3D printer creates all of the bespoke parts needed: meaning the business can remain lean and take up far less space than a traditional prosthetics manufacturer.