Stratasys is partnering with Dassault Systèmes to supply Unlimited Tomorrow with 3D printing and CAD software dedicated to producing affordable, patient-specific prosthetic devices.
From surgical models to personalized prosthetics, 3D printing has proven extremely advantageous for a wide variety of medical applications. Among the few pioneers of healthcare-related additive manufacturing is the 3D printing giant Stratasys.
The company recently launched BioMimics, a platform that enables physicians to reliably 3D print accurate and complex anatomical structures for training purposes. Now, Stratasys is partnering with the leading 3D engineering software company Dassault Systèmes to empower amputees through 3D printing and CAD software.
The collaborative effort, which was announced this week at SOLIDWORKS World 2018, aims to develop affordable and functional prosthetic arms for amputees. The 3D printed prosthetics company Unlimited Tomorrow will pair Stratasys’ 3D printing solutions and Dassault’s proprietary CAD software.
Traditional prosthetics usually come at a high price tag, costing anywhere between $20,000-$100,000. Meanwhile, Unlimited Tomorrow’s 3D printed prosthetics only cost around $5,000. The company uses a supply chain that streamlines the parts development and also reduces the number of fittings required.
“Unlimited Tomorrow is driven by enabling the possible, with unique thinking that results in absolutely incredible ideas. Our intent is always ‘user-first’, meaning the technology serves needs of patients from the outset – and it’s all driven by the most advanced technology,” said Easton LaChappelle, founder of Unlimited Tomorrow.
The 3D printed prosthetics producer also offers a $2,500 cheaper version for children who are still outgrowing their prosthetics.
Stratasys and Dassault Systèmes will provide dedicated 3D printing and CAD/CAE supplies to this newfound initiative. Additionally, both are providing additional support as part of the program. For instance, both the Stratasys PolyJet and Stratasys Direct Manufacturing teams will actively help develop and produce these 3D printed prosthetics.
The collaboration further boasts a design-to-creation process by using Dassault Systèmes’ leading CAD software SOLIDWORKS.
Through the partnership, Unlimited Tomorrow will be able to print prosthetics in any size and also color. The newly developed automated design process makes it easier than ever to customize the prothetic devices for each individual patient.
First, Unlimited Tomorrow will collect 3D scans of the missing arm and opposite full arm. The software then runs the scans and automatically generates ready-to-3D-print files. Once printed, the engineer will install sensors and wireless chargers to ensure haptic feedback.
Arita Mattsoff, vice president of corporate social responsibility at Stratasys, explained:
“We view 3D printing as a catalyst for healthcare innovation to enable better patient care, streamline procedures, and improve learning. One of the most visible impacts is in creation of prosthetics. That’s why a main component of our Corporate Social Responsibility program is focused on accessibility of devices – driving true change, improving quality-of-life, and advancing recipients’ self-esteem.”
Easton LaChappelle – Founder of Unlimited Tomorrow. (Image: Unlimited Tomorrow)
Source: Stratasys & Unlimited Tomorrow
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