LOW-COST TRANS-TIBIAL PROSTHETICS

Open-source, rapid-prototype driven fabrication

HONOURS YEAR INDUSTRIAL DESIGN THESIS PROJECT

Industrial Design graduate project which considers a mobile method of fabricating economical prosthetic devices for developing countries.  Research for this project began with a trip to Sri Lanka where I was introduced to the current labour and material intensive methods of producing prosthetics in the field.

The project was approached with the intent of utilising emerging technologies to reduce setup/production costs in the fabrication of trans-tibial prosthesis, in direct response to the ‘ground’ research conducted.

Adopting a low-cost, open-source ethos, I was able to tap in to the technical expertise and collective knowledge of online communities dedicated to these technologies. The information drawn from these sources informed the design of a 3D scanning system which translated an amputee’s residual limb into malleable digital data.


This topographical information was then processed to customise the interface between an individual and a prosthetic device for fabrication on a 3D printer. The marriage of these technologies produced a viable process for fabricating prosthetics in developing nations.  Maintaining a high degree of transparency in my research and design, I have openly shared my work with the online communities I drew knowledge from, in the hope of a collective advancement of my ground work.