3D Printers Deliver Competitive Alternative to Traditional Prosthetic Limbs

San Francisco-based Bespoke Innovations builds and sells custom-designed prosthetic human body parts created from 3D printing machines. The printers generate limb casings wrapped in embroidered leather, metal, or other materials.

6f88d custom prosthesis
A custom prosthesis was printed using 3D SLS equipment.

Company co-founder Scott Summit built a scan-ning device to examine limbs using a camera. After the scan, a detailed image is transmitted to a computer and Summit begins sculpting his limb art. He uses a 3D printer to create plastic shells that fit around the prosthetic limbs, and then wraps the shells in any flexible material the customer desires. Then the custom prosthesis is printed using 3D Systems Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) equipment.

He and his orthopedic surgeon partner Kenneth B. Trauner build test models of complete legs that have sophisticated features such as body symmetry, locking knees, and flexing ankles. One artistic design is metal-plated in some areas and leather-wrapped in others. “It costs $5,000 to $6,000 to print one of these legs, and it has features that are not available in existing prosthetic legs that cost $60,000 today,” Summit said. “We want people to provide input and select their options,” he added. “It’s about going from the Model T to something like a Mini that has 10 million permutations.”

f2a39 artificial leg
This artificial leg was generated from a 3D printer at Bespoke Innovations.

The two entrepreneurs hope to open a studio where they will sell the limb coverings and experiment with printing whole custom limbs that could cost one-tenth of comparable artificial limbs made using traditional methods.

Bespoke Innovations
www.bespokeinnovations.com

3D Systems
www.3dsystems.com

MPF

  • Princelanre01

    Please i would like to know if you have any artificial legs that are
    above the knee that the user can walk with perfectly without any
    support.

    Thanks.

  • Leslie Langnau

    Check out Scott Summit at SummitD. He seems to be doing a lot of work in this area.

  • Yodeluca

    Are these a real possibility in the near future because i feel amputees constantly have to sacrifice style for a pole or a leg that looks real. There are some amputees like myself who know we are unique and we want a leg just as unique as we are.

  • Leslie Langnau

    Not the future, Now! Scott Summit of Bespoke Innovations uses 3D Systems printers to create prosthetic body parts that give the mechanical prosthetic limb a more natural appearance. It’s very cool. Here’s a link to the story: http://www.makepartsfast.com/2010/12/1011/3d-printers-deliver-competitive-alternative-to-traditional-prosthetic-limbs/

  • Incikaya

    Would this be an option for the
    Boston marathon victims? If you think it’s worth a try these look so wonderful; you should reach out to the major Boston hospitals and rehab centers; it would mean so much!

  • ayoob

    Hi
    I’m ayoob
    I’ve got an accident and my leg was amputated from the motorcycle
    I need more information for that c leg
    I need that one
    How can I get one and where
    I live in jordan
    My number is:00962799999662
    My email :ayoob_quran@yahoo.com
    Thanks

  • cynthia

    Hi I’m Cynthia from the Philippines

    My brother’s left leg was amputated, how can we avail for the artificial leg?
    Please we need it as soon as possible. My brother is already starting to lose his faith. i hope that the artificial leg would be a big help to regain his faith and confidence.
    please contact us for us to know the amount to be paid.
    We are poor but we will try to avail one for our brother’s sake.
    Please contact me.
    thanks and may God bless you

    09351514247 my cp number
    Mcynthia_nalog@yahoo.com my Facebook account

  • Mark

    I lost my leg in a motorcycle crash as well. Im actually sitting in a hospital bed from revision surgery I had done on it to remove HO bone growth. I’ve gone without my leg for over a year. I lost my job 2 months before that and have no insurance. top of the line legs arent an option for me. how can I get one of these?

  • Beth Edwards Beardsley

    I am a below the Knee amputee from a head on auto accident I have been doing the prosthetic thing now for 12 years. This would make my life so much more normal. I would be interested in learning more about becoming one of your client’s. I have done 2 revisions for falling and cracking my bone. The ankle I have is a post and it’s not very flexible so doing stairs, climbing pond banks, chasing my grandchildren is almost impossible. I would like to know if my insurance would cover this verses the one’s I have now. Please email me at beardsley_beth@yahoo.com

  • Mark Kimmerling

    I will take one for right below the knee. How can i complete the transaction?

  • Mark Kimmerling

    If the first one goes well i will buy another for aquatic activites-maybe you can add a small flipper or make it interchangeable etc.
    my email is kimmerling42@gmail.com

  • Timothy White

    I too lost my leg to a “hit & run” driver on my motorcycle 11 years ago @ 35 yrs old. I could no longer pass fit for duty testing at the Nuclear Power Facility I worked for. I have a stainless steel full load baring femoral implant, as well as hip, and many other injuries. Sob story aside, I have dreamt of having the $can done on my limb, and a set of their “fairings”. Now seeing these, it makes me wish this holiday season, that somehow, the “so called” leaders of our nation, as well as the people, realize that our nation, “the greatest nation in history”, needs to spend a lot less money on foreign aid, and a lot more here at home on the legal citizens of this nation who have a long family history of citizenship, working, paying taxes, and helping one another as we built this nation. It seems to me that our so called leaders of the USA, have deemed it that someone, in some foreign land, is more deserving of our tax dollars than the people here at home like me and many others. May God have mercy on their souls.

  • Karen Taylor

    I lost my leg almost five years ago to Protein S Deficiency and take enormous amounts of blood thinners. I am on Medicare and am a widow. I use to dance professionally and miss it terribly. I have had 3 different legs. The most recent one is OK however my balance is still off and I’ve yet to learn to walk. On top of that to much weight and I bruce to the point of being hospitalized. I miss movement yet now my right foot needs extra support so that would need to be addressed as well. My point is I need a leg that has a knee where it should be, less weight, looks real and allows me to dance, hike, ride a bike and just make me feel alive again. I’m tired of sitting at home. I cannot work as I cannot sit for very long at a time and I’ve had several mini strokes so my left side is weaker than my right. Can you help me. I am a new widow and I’m literally dying sitting in the house by myself day after day. How much would this be?

  • Ed Schmidt

    Is this a prosthetic leg or custom covers for prosthetic legs?
    I am a disabled veteran and interested in it if it’s a cover.

    Thank you

    Ed

More in 3D Printers, Additive Manufacturing, Medical, News, Rapid Prototyping, SLS (834 of 1135 articles)
9a5fa_3d-printer-test-parts