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:
- We wanted it to be able to be connected and removed with a single hand – she doesn’t have access to her right hand.
- 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.
- Lightweight – didn’t want to add a lot of weight to an already heavy prosthetic.
- 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!