Steve popped up in my reddit feed with this incredible build of custom fairings for a prosthetic leg. Not only did he share a very detailed image gallery with information on each step, he also published a video showing the entire modeling process.

So my coworkers daughter has a prosthetic leg. She’s 12. My coworker expressed the desire to get a fairing for it, but they run upwards of $400 each. So naturally with all of the 3D printed aircraft I’ve made, he approached me to model out a shin/calf fairing! This project started about 3 months ago. There were about 4 primary design challenges to overcome:

  1.  We wanted it to be able to be connected and removed with a single hand – she doesn’t have access to her right hand.
  2.  I wanted to make all of the parts 3D printable other than the magnets and the screws – this is primarily so I can share the design with everyone who wants to modify the design to fit them and print one themselves.
  3.  Lightweight – didn’t want to add a lot of weight to an already heavy prosthetic.
  4.  Strong – I’m no structural engineer, so I over-estimated all of the points where I think it might break.

What really stands out to me is this fantastic joining method. It may be commonplace in 3D printing, but it was new to me!

You can find more of Steve on his Instagram, Thingiverse, and YouTube.