Stratasys Blog

Lightweight Leg Brace Cost-Effectively Customized for Perfect Fit with Stratasys 3D Printing

Braces or splints are a part of life for many who have experienced serious illness or injury. Widely used to support limbs which cannot take a person’s full weight, the design of braces seems to be in desperate need of a makeover. Or Steiner, an industrial designer, applied his training and experience – and used Stratasys 3D printing to modernize the old-fashioned appearance of leg braces as his graduation project.

Caption: 3D printed on an Objet1000 Multi-material 3D Production System, the KAFO Splint is a customized, airy, and fashionable design for a functional leg brace.
3D printed on an Objet1000 Multi-material 3D Production System, the KAFO Splint is a customized, airy, and fashionable design for a functional leg brace.

Steiner is an alumnus of the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design  (another recent Shenkar graduate, Noa Raviv, made a splash with her senior project, a fashion collection with 3D printed elements). During his studies, Steiner gained experience with 3D printing technology while making models for product designs.

From Bulky to Beautiful

Steiner’s foray into this aspect of medical device design came after he was in touch with Ron who had been in an accident eight years before, leaving him dependent on a wheelchair or braces in combination with crutches. But the braces were heavy and ungainly, a combination that meant that he did not want to wear them at all. Steiner’s vision for the redesign was to create personalized braces that were practical but also fashionable, so that those who had to wear them would also want to wear them.

The new design for the braces, which Steiner calls the “KAFO Splint,” is an airy, 3D printed version of the original. There is enough solid material for the crucial stabilization, but the openness allows for airflow and lightness that traditional braces lack. Adding 3D scanning technology to Steiner’s design enables every KAFO Splint to be adapted to each patient’s body.

Always a Perfect Fit

Caption: Stratasys Rigid opaque black 3D printing material (VeroBlack) provides the weight-bearing support required by the KAFO Splint.
Stratasys Rigid opaque black 3D printing material (VeroBlack) provides the weight-bearing support required by the KAFO Splint.

“The main advantages are that it is customized and personalized to the user,” Steiner told the Stratasys Blog. “The 3D print can look like a regular product that was created using injection molding, but it’s actually custom made. The design possibilities are great, and the finished product can be very attractive.”

Steiner used an Objet1000 Multi-material 3D Production System  to create the final product, leveraging VeroBlack, a rigid opaque PolyJet 3D printing material. After months of trial sketches and designs, the final KAFO Splint was 3D printed, as he explained “…in one piece!”  Despite the full “leg” extension of the design, the entire 3D print was easily accommodated in the one-meter build tray of the Objet1000.

To see sketches and trial designs from the splint, visit Or Steiner’s project blog.

This post is also available in: French German Portuguese (Brazil) Spanish

Carrie Wyman

Carrie Wyman

Carrie is a technology and 3D printing enthusiast, with a passion for beautiful design.

12 comments

  • This has to be one of the best benefits of the advancement of 3d printing and technology, in my opinion. So awesome we are able to create custom solutions for those who are disabled.

    • Hi,

      I seen your blog,could u please let us know the cost of the product and also the contact details of you to buy this.I m a physically challenged person and i m in need of this.

      Regards,
      Rathinakumar D

  • Hi Rathinakumar,

    We would be happy to answer those questions. Please look for an email from us in your inbox.

    • Hi,

      My name is jimmy, I’m also in need of a device like this. I’m a childhood cancer survivor and now 34, and need to start wearing a leg brace. How can I go about to getting one. Please please.

  • Hi,
    Can you please let me know how to contact you to buy this. I want to have it because the one that am using now is very bulky and also not comfortable.

    Thanks and regards
    Manjit

  • I have been trying to get info about getting a splint created for a while now. I need contact info, cost, location, specs… THE WORKS! Please let me know what I need to do and who I need to contact. Being that I’ll spend the rest of my life in the thing, I’d like to cut the bulk to a minimum…

  • Hi Team Startasys,
    Could you please share the contact detail for designer or anyone from team who can share little more details over this, like material used, strength and the process. I am interested in getting it printed but not able to gather all required details yet.
    I tried checking the blog and her Google+ profile and see there is no reply on any comment post. Perhaps email/phone would be easier option to get in touch?
    Thanks

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