3D printed cosmetic covers for lower limb prosthetics

Efstathiou, Kyriakos and McGarry, Anthony (2024) 3D printed cosmetic covers for lower limb prosthetics. Canadian Prosthetics & Orthotics Journal, 6 (2). 8. ISSN 2561-987X (https://doi.org/10.33137/cpoj.v6i2.42176)

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Cosmetic covers provide better aesthetic appearance and may facilitate increased acceptance of the prosthesis. Traditionally, cosmetic covers aimed to achieve an aesthetic and realistic appearance; through time, a fresh perspective has developed on cosmetic covers where traditional/realistic covers evolved into a custom-made product, which truly promotes the patient’s personality. The objectives of the study were to gather information from five well-known companies in the cosmetic cover industry (UNYQ, Limb-Art, Alleles, WillowWood and Aqua-Leg), analyse and compare their design elements using the Pugh matrix, and suggest a novel design using the best performing criteria of each design. The overall results of the Pugh matrix revealed the opportunity of a new design with improved design elements mainly in terms of “cover fit/aesthetics”, “ease of attachment” and “practicality”. The novel design had a vast difference in total score from the second-best design, revealing the improvement possibilities such cover design may have in the future. Although the study successfully presented a theoretical novel design, it was based on data found through literature and web resources, making the overall results of the study more objective rather than subjective. Future research is encouraged to be conducted based on a more subjective approach towards cosmetic covers.