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Revolutionizing Prosthetics Using 3D Scanning

For the past 3 years, Halo Technologies has been partnering with several cutting edge companies in the pursuit of revolutionizing how prosthetics are designed and manufactured. One such case is with BV, a 10 year old male who has right arm amniotic band syndrome congenital amputee. He has been seen by pediatric orthopedist, Dr. Ken Jeffers. By combining 3D scanning, traditional CAD design, 3D printing and an expert team we were able to custom build/fit for his shortened arm, with a fused elbow joint and wrist, with two fused lateral phalanges, a prosthetic unlike any prior.

In addition, we are developing a custom fit orthotic device prototype to allow him to hold a bow for a violin from a 3-D scan of his arm. We will create a supportive sleeve be using either a soft silicon material or spandex material that will be made from the scanned upper arm. We also have an intern redesigning the whole device to decrease the weight of the orthotic.

Below are some images of the patients arm, the 3D printed replica of the arm captured via 3D scanning and ultimately part of the custom fit prosthetic built around the replica.

 

 

 

 

By partnering, free of charge, with organizations like The Bionic Glove Project, Halo is able to help catapult the advancements additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping and digital mapping have specific to the medical field. When insurance companies are only covering one prosthetic in the life of a patient and that prosthetic can cost over $100,000 easily, it is the very patients that are in question that suffer further. Halo and our partners aim to stop the lack of solution that is financially driven and provide a safe, credentialed, viable and economical solution to help patients of all sorts in all regions, and this will be done utilizing several fields of technology. Without a doubt though, 3D scanning and 3D printing are leading the charge in this innovative research and development.

The Bionic Glove Project is a non-profit orthotics and prosthetics research company and e-NABLE volunteer provider founded in Florida Atlantic University’s Business Incubator, Tech Runway, in Boca Raton, Florida. They provide 3D printed prosthetics and orthotics at no cost to upper limb amputees, and work with local clinicians to advance the integration of 3-D printing in the medical device industry.

So, what exactly is 3D scanning?

How it works

A 3D scanner is a device that analyzes features of an object, like shape or color, for the purpose of creating a digital model. 3D scanners deal with the shape of an object, so despite the term “scanner,” they have more in common with cameras than with 2D scanners.

Like most cameras, 3D scanners have sensors with a cone-like field of view. To make a good scan, these sensors need visual access to every surface. In the case of a complex device, this is accomplished by taking the device apart and 3D scanning its individual parts.

3D scanners gather information about the distance to the surface of an item and produce a model of the item from the collected information. This is how 3D scanners create precise three-dimensional positions of various objects.

In most scenarios, many scans are needed for the production of a complete 3D model. Each scan becomes a part of one reference system, and the reference system becomes the source of information for a 3D scan.

Building with 3D scanning

Engineers and software use the data collected by 3D scanners to build 3D models for 3D printing and other types of manufacturing. At Halo Technologies, we have provided 3D scanning services for the medical field, aviation, and automotive, as well as architecture, aerospace, gaming, and more.

Here are some of the examples of the goals that we have helped our clients accomplish with 3D scanning:

Perform reverse engineering

If a supplier sends you a part or a mold and you want to verify the part of the mold against your specifications, you can use 3D scanning to create a precise digital model to compare against your production parts, and see if it passes your quality control or not.

Facilitate rapid prototyping

3D scanning can help you introduce design improvements to an existing object. By taking a part that you would like to improve, you can use a 3D scanner to create an accurate digital model and introduce changes and tweaks to it. With that, you can create a prototype with 3D printing, without having to pay for expensive molds or use other costly or slow manufacturing methods.

Create highly-precise tooling designs

For businesses that use head tooling for part manufacturing, the tooling designs can occasionally cause problems. This can be in the form of not having a specific design for a tooling, or in the case of simply not owning a digital file for an old tooling. In both cases, 3D scanning can help by scanning an existing tooling and developing an accurate digital model.

You can read more on this exciting technology here.

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