Design School

Research

Design for 3D Printed wrist splints

Group: Design for Digital Fabrication

Project: Evaluation of specialised splinting software to support design for 3D Printed wrist splints

15 August 2016 - 14 August 2017

£49,553

Abby Paterson

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Sponsor(s):

Arthritis Research UK

Partners:

Arthritis Research UK

Overview

Academics within the Design for Digital Fabrication research group have been awarded funding from Arthritis Research UK to develop specialised software that allows healthcare professionals to design wrist splints/orthoses ready for 3D Printing. The funding takes the researchers’ work one step closer to commercialisation and is a key step in enabling the use of 3D printing technologies within occupational therapy, physiotherapy and orthotics.

Prior research by Dr Abby Paterson, Professor Richard Bibb and Dr Ian Campbell demonstrated the need for specialised software for clinicians, rather than relying on mainstream Computer Aided Design (CAD) software packages. Initial prototypes by the academics (both software and physical wrist splints) proved that the concept was feasible and very much an attractive option for therapists, but some functions and features needed further development. The funding provided by Arthritis Research UK is a key enabler for this development and will also support the development of a planned route to market.