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Bespoke Custom 3D Printed Prosthetic Coverings

3D Printing & Imaging
Bespoke Custom 3D Printed Prosthetic Coverings

Bespoke shoot

In our Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing, we have a section on the innovative uses of 3D printers in the field of medicine, including San Francisco-based Bespoke Innovations:

Bucking the typical one-style-suites-all model of conventional prosthetics, San Francisco-based Bespoke Innovations makes custom coverings, called Fairings, that surround an existing prosthetic leg, recreating the user’s natural leg shape through 3D scanning, designing, and printing. Conceived by industrial designer Scott Summit and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kenneth Trauner, Bespoke Fairings are designed in collaboration with the patient, aiming to reflect the individual by offering a number of material and pattern options, including leather, chrome plating, and tattoos.

Our local public radio station, KQED, did an interesting, short feature on Bespoke Innovations this week on their Kitchen Sisters show titled “The Making Of“:

bespoke chadMsgrHiRez1

Bespoke shoot

8 thoughts on “Bespoke Custom 3D Printed Prosthetic Coverings

  1. David says:

    The story title is misleading AGAIN.
    As an amputee I built my own mechanical B.E. (Below Elbow) prosthetic. My unit is heat-treated aircraft-grade aluminum for the one-piece socket and wrist and axle-alloy steel for the threaded wrist. It is a VERY heavy-duty (yet light-weight) unit instead of lab-made units which kept ripping out and breaking. It is an ACTUAL, WORKING prosthetic device.
    So I was much interested in this posting when your Email came in.
    I am greatly disappointed and miffed.
    Similar to “3D-Printed Gun Fires Real Bullets” and two out of three of my posted comments on it, this story title is WAY misleading. These covers are useful but they are NOT a prosthetic device! This is like claiming that a decorative weather tarp is a functional automobile or a pair of long pants by themselves allows mobility.
    False Advertising!

    1. Goli Mohammadi says:

      Hi David,
      My apologies for the misnomer and thanks for chiming in. I’ve just changed the wording in the post title from “Prosthetics” to “Prosthetic Coverings” to avoid further confusion. I agree with the other poster that I would love to see your mechanical B.E. prosthetic. Do you have it documented online anywhere? Thanks!

  2. lol says:

    Actually, we have been looking into 3D printed disposable Carbon Fibre custom-fit molds, and bundled bamboo-fibre flexible rods (7 times stronger than spring steel by weight).

    Milling a titanium socket for a comfortable fit usually requires a good machinist, and a large budget. Additionally, some people prefer to have an industrial insulated version made for automotive work like welding.

    You need to document your process for a comfortable fit, and open source the hardware for feedback. There are a billion minds on this network, and many of them would support a kick-starter campaign to give practical options to friends. Version 0.0.1 of any project gets it wrong every time… ;-)

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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