Exo Prosthetic Leg: William Root’s conceptual 3D printed solution for affordable prostheses

William Root_Exo Prosthetic Leg

The very first thing that one would notice about the above pictured prosthetic design is its style factor, with a perforated structure that seemingly replicates the precise anatomy of a leg. Well, the notion (hatched by designer William Root) does pertain to that last bit, with the so-named Exo Prosthetic Leg conceptualized in a sort of 3D wire-frame scope that would allow more preciseness in movement and shape, along with customizable credentials.

In essence, the Exo Prosthetic Leg is envisioned to combine structural integrity, light-weight nature and a streamlined design – that ultimately espouses both comfort in usability and elegance of form. To that end, the first stage of the design process entails the use of advanced laser scanning that would map the intact part of the limb with accuracy that could range within mere millimeters of the original anatomy. This precise ambit will be bolstered by FitSocket, a technology originally developed by MIT that takes into account the leg tissue properties of an individual. This results in better fit between the residual limb and the artificial socket.

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The next phase encompasses the 3D modeling of the envisaged design that will be developed from the aforementioned mapping of the limb. The resultant artificial limb (still in CAD) can be further improved with a lightweight exo-skeleton frame that would be furnished in accordance with individually preferred styles. The streamlined CAD model will be finally sent to the 3D printing facility to print-out the prosthetic solution from titanium. According to the designer, this can be achieved with a process known as ‘laser sintering’; aided by titanium dust particles that account for both lightweight and bio-compatibility.

Lastly, coming to the assembly process, the Exo Prosthetic Leg will be infused with 3D printed connectors, thus endowing the final design with a structural aptitude. Root has thought of a conventional pyramid connector that would securely ‘bind’ the artificial limb, while also allowing for customized adjustments (on the part of the user). This entire scope of mapping, modeling, printing and assembling can be made affordable by virtue of the automated processes and the cost-factor the material itself. Moreover, the namesake exo-skeleton of the prosthetic leg would eschew the need for complex yet ungainly artificial components – which ultimately alludes to an aesthetic solution that works as a more organic yet elegant extension of the affected limb.

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Source: William Root (Behance).

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