Apr 23, 2018 | By David

Shanghai-based INTAMSYS is known for being one of the 3D printing world’s leading suppliers of PEEK materials and the technology required to effectively print with them. PEEK is a high-performance FDM filament that is often used for medical applications, and INTAMSYS’s own products were recently used by China’s Sichuan Ju An Hui Science and Technology to build an advanced medical device known as BioNEEK. This passive bionic exoskeleton brace is intended to provide support for people with a broad range of knee problems, as well as improving their mobility and preventing any further damage.

The knee is one of the most vulnerable parts of the human anatomy, with a particularly short lifespan in terms of performance. Past the age of 50 years, knee problems are rife in both women and men, and they can lead to reduced mobility as well as other types of complications that affect their ability to maintain a normal lifestyle. Knee braces are devices that are designed to provide extra support to the region, as well as increased stability and protection from impact and other types of strains. Sichuan Ju An Hui Science and Technology’s new BioNEEK device is one of the most advanced examples developed so far.

The BioNEEK knee brace features a magnetorheological damper. This biomechanical system is essentially a shock absorber, which efficiently prevents too much force impacting the knee. This improves comfort for the user as well as limiting further damage to their knee, helping with both mobility and endurance.

The BioNEEK also has an adjustable hinge, which offers huge advantages, particularly when it comes to preventing hyperextension, expediting rehabilitation, and relieving pain. It is set up to track the natural movements of a wearer’s knee, in order to maintain support and provide lateral stability to the ligaments whilst moving the joint.

Development of the BioNEEK required a material that was strong and durable, with a high level of customization potential, without being too heavy. The lightweight PEEK 3D printing filament was a natural choice for the Sichuan Ju An Hui Science and Technology team, and they turned to INTAMSYS due to their reputation for consistency and quality in the field of PEEK products.

''With the outstanding mechanical strength and stiffness of PEEK coupled with the reliability of INTAMSYS' 3D printing solution, Sichuan Ju An Hui is now able to swiftly customize according to customers’ sizes and produce BioNEEK that fits comfortably on the knees of each customer, while delivering the industry-leading level of protection made possible by 3D printed PEEK'', said Charles Han, CEO of INTAMSYS.

The team makes use of an INATMSYS FUNMAT PRO HT 3D printer to build the BioNEEK exoskeleton brace. Printing with this machine enables the production of PEEK parts with tensile strength of 99.9 MPa, and 3738 MPa in Young’s Modulus. 3D printing the PEEK parts means that they can be customized according to the particular requirements of the wearer, and once they are completed, an extra layer of foam padding is added to the brace in order to further improve comfort and fit.

The BioNEEK will be on display at the INTAMSYS booth (842) at this year’s RAPID + TCT show, from April 24 to 26.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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