HOW 3D PRINTING IS HELPING ARTHRITIS PATIENTS

3D Printing Industry | 12/20/2018 | Umair Iftikhar
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Researchers from Michigan Technological University (MTU) and Finland’s Aalto University, have created 3D printed adaptive aids to support people suffering from arthritis.

In a study published in MDPI, Professor Joshua M. Pearce of the Materials Science and Engineering department at MTU, as well as bioengineering student Nicole Gallup, and Orthopaedic Surgeon Jennifer K. Bow, evaluated the economic viability of 3D printed gadgets that can improve the standard of living of those suffering from rheumatic diseases.

Research - Quarter - US - Population - Conditions

According to the research, “By 2040, more than a quarter of the U.S. population will have diagnosed arthritic conditions. Adults with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions earn less than average yet have medical care expenditures that are over 12% of average household income.”

“ADAPTIVE AIDS CAN HELP ARTHRITIS PATIENTS CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN INDEPENDENCE AND QUALITY OF LIFE; HOWEVER, THEIR HIGH COSTS LIMIT ACCESSIBILITY FOR OLDER PEOPLE AND THE POOR.”

Researchers - Manufacturing - Method - Cost - Aids

The researchers recognized additive manufacturing as a method for reducing the cost of adaptive aids. Assessing this theory, the team used PLA to fabricate 20 adaptive aids on low-cost delta-style RepRap Athena II 3D printer kits from Michigan’s 3D4EDU –costing under $500.

From stationary, kitchen utensils, to general healthcare gadgets, the adaptive aids were produced at a mere cost of $20, significantly less than those commercially available on the market. Furthermore, the team designed the aids using CURA software and published them on the open source 3D printing design platform MyMiniFactory, and Appropedia.

Source - Designs - Consumers

The open source designs also allow consumers to adapt...
(Excerpt) Read more at: 3D Printing Industry
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