Jun 23, 2015 | By Alec

The availability of affordable 3D printed prosthetics has been growing dramatically, with people young and old are currently benefiting from this wonderful application of 3D printing technology. We here at 3ders.org have been marveling over the fantastic qualities of these easy prosthetics for a long time now, and especially about their number one quality: affordability. Traditionally-manufactured prosthetics available on the medical market quickly cost thousands and thousands, so it’s no surprise that so many amputees are switching over to 3D printing. And finally, it now seems as though the prosthetic giants have taken the hint, as one of the world leaders in prosthetic manufacturing, Ottobock, has just announced a partnership with innovative designers UNYQ to look into 3D printing options.

Ottobock, as you might know, is an absolute giant in the medical prosthetic industry. Having been in the business for more than 90 years and with offices in seemingly every corner of the globe, this German company are known for very high level prosthetics and customized wheelchair. Their products are almost the complete opposite to a cheap PLA hand you and I might 3D print, but you pay for that quality. In that respect, this turn to 3D printing technology is everything but a desperate gamble to lower prices, but rather an opportunity to make products even more customizable and increase the quality of life of its wearers.

And UNYQ is to play an important role in that process. Founded by Eythor Bender and Manuel Boza in 2014, this much smaller company specializes in (3D printed) solutions for amputees and give them a way to personalize prosthetics and, crucially, reclaim control over their own aesthetics. Because who wants a hugely ugly prosthetic after dealing with the trauma of losing a limb? 3D printing has played an important role in that process at UNYA, especially as a quick prototyping tool.

It is expected that this innovating approach will be carried over to the Ottobock collaboration. ‘Ottobock is thrilled to join forces with UNYQ,’ said Dr. Falk Berster, who is Business Unit Director at Ottobock. ‘Our company has a long tradition of developing cutting-edge technologies to improve the quality of life for amputees. Through our partnership with UNYQ, we are excited to offer products that enable our customers to combine their own identity with the technology we provide. We are convinced that self-confidently expressing and showing one’s own style and personality can support amputees to better reintegrate into daily life.’

The first products in this interesting venture will be the collection “UNYQ designed for Ottobock”, which will include Special Fairing Editions free in design and an Ottobock Exclusive Fairing Line. These will be reminiscent, but customized versions, of other Ottobock prosthetic devices. The first editions are set to be unveiled in the third quarter of 2015. From the start our vision has been to make individualization and style accessible to as many amputees as possible,’ the CEO of UNYQ Eythor Bender said. ‘Teaming up with Ottobock and joining forces across their locations in 54 countries is a dream come true.’ If you’re interested, keep an eye on UNYQ’s web shop here. Let's just hope this will convince Ottobock of the immense potential of 3D printing.




Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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