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We reported last year on a major collaboration between chemicals giant BASF and 3D printing materials company Essentium, intended to develop a range of new materials solutions for 3D printing and other applications. A major breakthrough has recently been achieved by the partners, with Essentium’s subsidiary brand TriFusion Devices leveraging one of BASF’s advanced materials to develop an important new prosthetic device. The new prosthetic is the strongest 3D printed thermoplastic/carbon fiber definitive prosthetic leg socket available on the market.
The device was 3D printed using BASF’s Ultramid polyamide material, reinforced with short carbon fiber. This combination of high-performance materials means that the prosthetic is lightweight but also tough, and more flexible than other carbon fiber-reinforced prosthetics. The material properties will enable it to be regularly adjusted throughout its lifecycle. This is a crucial aspect that sets it apart from similar devices. Small adjustments can be made in increments of 2-3 mm without weakening the socket, which will ensure that it is always a comfortable fit for a patient.
Development - Device - Companies - Help - Anew
After development of the device, the companies enlisted the help of Michigan-based clinic Anew Life Prosthetics and Orthotics for testing and practical validation from patients and clinicians. Anew Life owner Chris Casteel is an amputee as well as a clinician and former manufacturing professional, so he is well-suited to evaluating the effectiveness of the TriFusion device. He will be providing the companies with real-time feedback on the prosthetic socket's performance from his patients, so improvements and adjustments can be made at the level of materials as well...
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