Pre-clinical evaluation of novel socket materials

Buis, Adrianus and Simpson, David and Mclachlan, Brian (2008) Pre-clinical evaluation of novel socket materials. In: ORTHOPÄDIE + REHA-TECHNIK World conference, 2008-04-21 - 2008-05-24.

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The most critical component of any prosthesis is the socket. Each socket is a tailor-made device, designed to fit the unique geometry of the patient's residual limb. It is the socket which determines the comfort and performance of the prosthesis and ultimately whether or not the device will be worn. Creating the unique socket is often the most time consuming and costly aspect of the manufacturing of prostheses. The national centre is currently examining the potential advantages of employing computer aided design (CAD) combined with rapid prototyping technologies for the production of prosthetic sockets. Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) offers the potential to produce usable prosthetic sockets quickly and at a reasonable cost. An FDM machine consists of a build platform housed in a heated chamber. A heated nozzle produces an extrusion of semi-molten plastic materials which is moved under the control of a computer to build a 3-dimensional model of the CAD file. This paper will discuss the results of testing the mechanical properties of a number of novel FDM materials. The mechanical properties of these materials will be compared with fibre reinforced resin and polypropylene materials which are routinely used in the production of prosthetic sockets.