Prosthetic customisation with 3D printing

| Manufacturing

Custom designed 3D printed prosthetic arm
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Collaboration with additive manufacturing supplier and design software giant enables the rapid and cost-effective customisation of prosthetic devices in healthcare.

Stratasys is teaming with Dassault Systèmes and industry innovator Easton LaChappelle to power a transformational new initiative – Unlimited Tomorrow. Unveiled at SOLIDWORKS World 2018, Stratasys will become the exclusive provider of 3D printing technology for the initiative and organisation ushering in a new age of custom-designed, low-cost, highly functional arms for those who need them most. Unlimited Tomorrow will fully collaborate with Stratasys on research, development and production of these prosthetics – reinforcing the company’s current and evolving investments in corporate social responsibility.

Traditional prosthetic models are often heavy, cumbersome and expensive – costing recipients a minimum of $20,000 per device to upwards of $100,000. The decision to spend this on children is further complicated because many quickly outgrow models and thus require entirely new devices. Unlimited Tomorrow re-thinks the way artificial limbs are made by targeting common difficulties in terms of customisation, weight and cost.

Placing the recipient first, the organisation builds intuitive, scalable models to engineer custom devices from start to finish. Making significant changes to the process and supply chain, Unlimited Tomorrow also taps into digital, scanning and 3D printing technologies to streamline development and reduce multiple fittings – minimising the impact to each patient.

“Unlimited Tomorrow is driven by enabling the possible, with unique thinking that results in absolutely incredible ideas. Our intent is always ‘user-first’, meaning the technology serves the needs of patients from the outset – and it’s all driven by the most advanced technology,” said Easton LaChappelle, Founder of Unlimited Tomorrow. “We are delighted to have Stratasys and Dassault Systèmes join our growing enterprise coalition, further giving us the ability to change the way prosthetics are delivered through using personalised, 3D printed products.”

A collaborative approach

Core to the announcement is the selection of Stratasys and Dassault Systèmes as the 3D printing and CAD/CAE suppliers. Stratasys’ exclusive cooperation provides Unlimited Tomorrow with the development and production of the prosthetics through the company’s PolyJet expert team, as well as Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. Capitalising on Stratasys’ 3D printing products for healthcare, Unlimited Tomorrow accesses the company’s expertise and materials to engineer sturdy, functional, and aesthetically-pleasing devices. Backed by unique levels of realism, Stratasys products are perfectly suited to match prosthetics to patients for maximum personalisation.

“We view 3D printing as a catalyst for healthcare innovation to enable better patient care, streamline procedures and improve learning. One of the most visible impacts is in the creation of prosthetics. That’s why a main component of our Corporate Social Responsibility approached is focused on accessibility of devices – driving true change, improving quality-of-life and advancing recipients’ self-esteem,” said Arita Mattsoff, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility at Stratasys. “Unlimited Tomorrow is bettering the lives of people worldwide with practical and affordable custom-fit devices. We’re proud to team up with long-time partner Dassault Systèmes and Unlimited Tomorrow – bringing the technology and expertise to create the best artificial limbs.”

With Dassault Systèmes’ SOLIDWORKS applications, Unlimited Tomorrow makes use of the ultimate 3D design and engineering portfolio to facilitate an integrated design-to-creation process and bring innovations to market faster. The software permits a high degree of collaboration and idea-sharing for rapidly-made and more cost-effective devices for recipients.

“In this highly competitive market, true industry leaders encourage efficiency and creativity across all aspects of their operations – particularly in design, manufacturing and product development. Time and again, SOLIDWORKS is the software of choice for applications that makes real innovation possible,” said Suchit Jain, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes. “It’s very rewarding to align with Stratasys to advance Unlimited Tomorrow’s global initiative.”

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