Jan 19, 2018 | By Benedict

Extremiti3D LLC, a South Carolina company specializing in 3D printed prosthetic sockets and cosmetic covers, has received investment from South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA), a public, non-profit corporation that fosters South Carolina's innovation economy.

Working with certified prosthetic professionals, Johns Island, SC company Extremiti3D makes 3D printed prosthetic sockets and cosmetic covers that can be produced in a short space of time and which are more comfortable than traditionally made products of their kind. 3D scanning is used to scan the anatomy of a patient, while 3D printing is used to fabricate the tailor-made product.

“Extremiti3D’s line of 3D printed transtibial and transfemoral sockets and custom protective covers are a new solution to an old fabrication method and our presence is growing across the market place with proven benefits to both the clinics and the patients they serve,” explains Jim Price, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for Extremiti3D.

It’s this fresh approach to an established product, as well as the customer-specific process, that has convinced SCRA (and its entrepreneurial program, SC Launch, Inc.) to invest in Extremiti3D, having accepted the company into the SC Launch program as a Client Company back in 2016. As part of the new deal, Extremiti3D will receive $200,000 in order to grow its business.

Barry Hand, Co-Founder and CEO for Extremiti3D, says the funds will be used to fund ongoing product development and workflow process improvements, and to execute its sales and marketing tactics. He also says that new jobs could be created for South Carolina residents as part of the funding.

Clearly, SCRA is impressed with the work of the young company. “Extremiti3D is utilizing advanced manufacturing techniques to provide custom products to amputees,” says Bob Quinn, Executive Director of SCRA. “The work they are doing is having a tremendous impact on their customers.”

So just why are these 3D printed sockets and cosmetic covers considered so valuable? Well, of the 1.5 million lower limb amputees in the US, around three quarters have their prosthetic sockets manufactured using manual plaster forming and thermoforming fabrication methods. And according to Extremiti3D, these processes are “antiquated, slow, costly, and imprecise.” The other quarter have theirs fabricated by a partially automated CAD/CAM carving solution. Better, but a process that still often results in a poor fit.

Extremiti3D’s solution, comprised of 3D scanning and printing processes, reduces the amount of time spent creating a single prosthesis by 80 per cent, and its cost by 57 per cent, and produces a much more comfortable prosthesis. According to the Extremiti3D website, carbon-reinforced materials are used to 3D print the prosthesis sockets, which can be made and shipped within 48 hours of obtaining 3D scan data. The company’s protective prosthesis covers are also available in a range of skin tones or patterns.

A rollout of Extremiti3D’s services is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2018, and the company is confident of making a success of itself.

“We see few, if any, barriers to our entry into the O&P market,” said Hand, who was worked with 3D printing for over three decades. “We offer a superior value proposition and our product line is steadily gaining recognition. Our ambition is to be first to market; to be the vanguard, the trailblazer, the company that sets the bar very high. The 1.5 million lower limb amputees in the US deserve nothing less.”

The SCRA funding is the latest in a string of recent business deals for Extremiti3D. Shortly after Christmas, the prosthetics company formed a partnership with Friddle's Orthopedic Appliances (Honea Path, South Carolina), Fabtech Systems (Everett, Washington), and Click Medical, (Steamboat Springs, Colorado) to bring “central fabrication” to its 3D printed devices.

As part of that agreement, Friddle’s agreed to purchase RevoFit kits from Click Medical and install them into Extremiti3D’s 3D printed sockets.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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