Functional doesn’t have to be boring
Prosthetic limbs have always been designed for their functionality.
While their use greatly assists the people who need them, current prosthetic limbs have remained utilitarian in appearance and single minded in purpose, doing nothing to break down the social stigma often faced by those with missing limbs.
Seeing the need for a prosthetic that could be used to express an individual’s unique style, Griffith University student Troy Baverstock has designed the limbU – a 3D printed smart leg.
‘Despite promising advances in medical technology, prostheses that can match their biological counterparts are currently confined to the realms of science fiction. This limitation however does not restrict us from exploring new forms and functions for which the prosthetic limb is uniquely situated,’ says Troy.
Using Griffith’s advanced 3D printing technology, the customisable designs will enable users to express their individuality and creativity through something typically seen as an impairment.
Griffith implemented the program to teach students how to understand and utilise the new and exciting opportunities 3D printing offers, working to develop graduates who have the specialised skills needed to help industry and maximise opportunities for growth.
The students of today will have the jobs of the future – ones that may not even exist yet, with 3D printing alone being forecast as a $7 billion dollar a year sector by 2020.
3D printing reduces the cost and time to produce bespoke items, making them more accessible to those in need.
Troy’s 3D printed smart leg is one of the many exciting and revolutionary products created by students with access to Griffith’s 3D printing capabilities.