Dec 5, 2016 | By Tess

There is no question that 3D printing technologies are helping to disrupt, democratize, and push forward prosthesis manufacturing. With the increasing ability to create customized, one-off prosthetic aids, many companies and medical organizations hope that 3D printing will help to make limb prosthetics more widely available by reducing both costs and production times. In Mumbai, India, we are seeing evidence of this already, as an effort is being made to revamp the popular “Jaipur foot” rubber-based prosthetic with additive manufacturing technologies.

The Jaipur foot, which was invented nearly 40 years ago, has helped millions of people with lower limb disabilities to regain some mobility in their lives. Now, thanks to 3D printing technologies, the well recognized prosthetic will be getting a makeover of sorts. The initiative, which is being enabled by a Google grant and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-Bombay), is already well into its prototyping stage and was unveiled at the International Day of the Disabled in Mumbai.

According to a source, nearly 200 amputees who have relied on the traditional Jaipur foot will soon be been fitted with the 3D printed prosthetics and participate in a four-month long pilot study. The initiative, which was started by Rajeev Mehta, a trustee of Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust, is being partially funded by a $350,000 grant from Google Impact Challenges 2015.

The traditional Jaipur foot, made from a rubber-based material, typically requires about 8 hours of manual labour to produce. With the integration of 3D printing technologies, the manufacturers will now be able to create a prosthetic foot in just a couple of hours. Rather than being made from rubber, the 3D printed prosthetic foot will reportedly be made from a high-density plastic.

Traditional Jaipur foot prosthesis

While 3D printing has been used for other medical purposes in India, primarily for diagnosis and training purposes, the 3D printed Jaipur foot marks the first time that a 3D printed prosthesis will be mass produced for use in India—an achievement that should not be discounted. As Mehta explains, “Our limbs are sent to patients across the country and the world. Thanks to the Google grant, we can remotely take orders from people and deliver it to them.” The 3D printed Jaipur foot will be mass produced in a designated wing at the King George V Memorial complex in Mahalaxmi.

According to Mehta, the four-month pilot project will officially launch later this month.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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Som Karamchetty wrote at 12/15/2016 11:10:30 PM:

With 3D printing, it is possible to use the other foot or leg as a template to make the prosthetic. By making it hollow, it can be make lighter and comfortable. Again, by using portable scanning equipment, the customer may not be required to travel to a Clinique.



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