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Students use 3D printing to create custom flexible resin skins for prosthetics
This year had witnessed a huge development of biomedical-applied 3D printing. The study of the following students has pushed further the artificial skin development, to help having more natural-appearing prosthetics.
Now, a group of design and architecture students have taken that “customization factor” a step further and have been busy developing 3D printed prosthetic skins that allow a prosthesis wearer to instantly change the aesthetic of their prosthetic without the need to have multiple prosthetic devices.
The 27 second-year students, who are all a part of the Interior Architecture and Product Design (IAPD) program at Kansas State University, were tasked with designing and manufacturing six prosthetic skins for six chosen individuals who currently wear a prosthetic device.
According to Dustin Headley, associate professor and facilitator of the IAPD studio, the skins will be the first of their kind and are 3D printed on flexible resin – a production method that can dramatically lower the price similar to how 3D printing revolutionized the manufacturing of prosthetics themselves. While existing prosthetic skins can cost around $1000, the students are planning on printing all six of the unique skin designs with the silicone-like flexible resin for less than that.