Peke Waihanga 2 3D Printed Below-Knee Socket
Ringatoi Matua / Design DirectorAlex Huffadine
Ngā Kaimahi / Team MembersCraig Harrington, Rebecca Jones, Vincent Mcqueen
3D printed Below-knee socket with suspension system
Our Vision: Peke Waihanga – Artificial Limb Service has a vision of independent and productive lives for the people we care for. This means imagining a world where all amputees have access to the same level of prosthetic care. We are seeing out this vision by creating digitally-enabled prosthetics to bridge the equity gap.
We enable innovative technologies to inform how we develop artificial limbs.
Process: Working alongside our certified Clinical Prosthetists, we have developed a digitally enabled workflow to produce customised 3D Printed sockets. These sockets are designed to work with an array of suspension systems that we have on offer including vacuum, pin lock, sleeve and hybrid suspension systems. We are utilising technology to provide functional customisable solutions for a wide array of customers. In 6 months, we have produced 72 3D Printed sockets using Multi Jet Fusion. We have taken a traditional socket and reverse engineered the process and developed our own suspension systems to work alongside off-the-shelf hardware. Our 3D printed sockets can be customised in shape, colour, suspension system and thickness at this stage, and we have bigger plans for later releases.
A residual limb is 3D scanned with alignment details and processed digitally via workflows (Meshmixer, rhino and Solidworks). The files are then sent to the printer and return to one of our Peke Waihanga centres for installation of hardware. This is a completely new process and has proven to successfully reduce fabrication time by up to 8 hours. Patient have stated that they are achieving high comfort levels, and they are finding the sockets lighter and more flexible due to the materials homogenous properties. This is due to the uniformity of the layering and binding process. We have also found that the sockets are very strong and durable, but they have enough elasticity to be more resistant to breakages.
A few other players in the market are touching this space and doing some incredible work. The difference with our solution is the wide array of options we can offer patients.