Design build test of 3D-printed ankle-foot orthotics
Ankle-foot orthotics (AFOs) are a device which assists those with incorrect walking technique.
Novita, a not-for-profit organisation, is looking to enhance their current traditionally manufactured AFOs and move towards 3D-printed AFOs.
The project aimed to design, build and test a complete system—from client foot scan to 3D AFO print. The project consisted of three key sections. The ideal material for purpose was to be selected, as 3D printers have thousands of potential material selections. The AFOs must also be tested to ensure safety and test product lifecycle to replicate usage over two years.
The physical testing was also to be supported by finite element analysis (FEA) computer modelling, which was also used to optimise AFO shape design via a parametric study. All key aims were achieved, designing a working AFO with the ideal material, verified by a fully functioning test-rig, computer analysis and material testing.
Edan Van Haren