Connect with us

Tech News

Titanium prosthetic limbs can now be 3D printed – you go, science!

(TECH NEWS) 3D printing is often seen as a novelty, but it’s literally transforming the medical world, even altering the future of prosthetics.

Published

on

3d printed leg

Science is rockin’ it!

Don’t underestimate the potential of 3D printing. While plenty of useless trinkets are being manufactured by 3D printers, the emerging technology is also being applied to challenging problems desperately in need of fresh ideas.


One problem is the outdated manufacturing of prosthetics. Over 2 million amputees live in the U.S., and 185,000 new amputations happen each year. This is a significant portion of the population, yet many are unable to afford prosthetics.

Manufacturing prosthetics is extremely expensive

Specialized technicians are required to manually create handmade pieces that are assembled, fitted, adjusted, then fitted again. Children with missing limbs must be refitted for new prosthetics as they grow, creating a massive financial burden for the family.

Designer William Root aimed to make prosthetics affordable, easier to produce, and more aesthetically pleasing. So he created Exo Prosthetics, which produce titanium, 3D printed limbs. First, a 3D scanner collects information from the residual limb of the wearer, ensuring the finished prosthetic will be customized to fit the body.

exo

Next, modeling software is used to design the limb

The wearer can customize the limb to match their particular fashion sense. Amputees can benefit physically and psychologically from wearing a prosthetic limb, but robotic appearances of current models can negatively affect wearers self-esteem. The added bonus of customization is especially helpful for amputees to overcome the psychological stress of wearing a false body part.

In the past, amputees were stuck with odd, mechanical looking prosthetics. With 3D printing, people can design their prosthetics to look how they want them to. Then, the prosthetic is printed with titanium, a light but durable metal that generally doesn’t cause allergic reactions to the body.

3D printing dramatically reduces manufacturing time and cuts the cost in half. 3D printing also allows unprecedented customization. This is just the tip of the iceberg -the only limit is our imagination.

exo

#3dlimbs

Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Joshua

    December 2, 2016 at 10:05 am

    So much misinformation.

    First, the fitting process cannot be fully automated. You still require someone who understands the fitting process to scan, adjust, fit, and continue to adjust the fit as the patient’s limb and needs changes. Someone has to pay for the advanced software and know how to use it. Someone has to pay for the office space this will be fit in. Someone has to pay for the expensive titanium 3d printer that will still only make SOME of the prosthetic device.

    Second, the cost is NOT reduced to the cost of materials, and never will be. Someone still has to assemble it, fit it and adjust it. In the picture in this article there is a microprocessor controlled ankle – these are incredible expensive for this part alone, not including the cost/time of someone knows how to set it up and educate the patient as to how it works. This price goes up significantly for an above the knee amputee that would need a knee joint – these range anywhere from 5k-50k or more for the newest technology. The tech and programming in these microprocessor parts greatly assists in keeping patients safe and reducing the risk of falls. These need to be set up by someone who has been trained in their use.

    Third, the “Exo” mentioned in this article is actually only replacing a part of an actual prothesis. The parts it replaces are actually some of the less expensive parts, and the cover aspect of it is often not covered by insurances. It looks awesome, and has a place, but it is simply not a full replacement for a prosthesis, and could actually lead to a MORE expensive prothesis.

    Fourth, the “someone” I keep mentioning in this article is a trained Prosthetist who has completed a formal education in his/her field and actually knows how to manage the care of a prosthetic patient and ensure that the patient’s ongoing needs are met. This is one of the two major costs of prosthetics that simply can’t be replaced by 3d printing or software. Period.

    3d printing is a sexy topic that everyone wants a part of. Designers like this jumping out and trying to reinvent the wheel and making false promises is misleading and leads to poor patient care. Yes it’s cool, yes its new and tech-y, and yes it will have a place in many new fields moving forwards. However the truth right now is that 3d printers are not going to make everything instantly easier and better. Casually promising vast improvements in healthcare without any proven track record is dangerous.

  2. Pingback: The Future: New 3-D Printed Titanium Prosthetics | My Word[P]ress

  3. Pingback: The Future: New 3-D Printed Titanium Prosthetics – LifeLeep.com

  4. Pingback: 3D printed titanium prosthetics. How awesome is that? – Awesomer.co

  5. Pingback: When you can 3D scan anything from your phone, what wouldn't you 3D print? - The American Genius

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech News

Tech industry takes big wallop as coronavirus continues to spread

(TECH NEWS) The spread of the coronavirus is rattling tech industries, as they struggle to produce or deliver their devices so the tech giants’ stock value plummets.

Published

on

coronavirus

As more cases of coronavirus, COVID-19, appear in yet more countries, people are starting to freak out about catching it. The problem doesn’t stop there, though. The corresponding punch in the gut to the tech industry will have far-reaching effects–beyond not being able to buy the latest version of your favorite device.

Besides bringing health protocols to a high alert status, the coronavirus is creating a secondary scare in the tech industry. Some companies have massive portions of their supply chain and production based in China, some in Wuhan, where the virus first began to spread. The tech industry is definitely taking a painful hit. The virus is affecting supply, production, delivery, and sales.

In turn, tech company stocks are starting to tank, at least temporarily. Apple, Amazon, Microsoft. Facebook, Google reportedly lost more than $230 billion in a day. Ouch, buddy. That’s gonna leave a mark.

The fear remains that this is only the beginning. With coronavirus having landed in at least 48 countries, the fear is not unfounded. As countries scramble to deal with containment, treatment, and educating their populace, Wall Street and other major stock markets are predicting a global economic slowdown.

As of this writing, the coronavirus is not yet an official pandemic, according to WHO. This may change. A lot is riding on getting the spread of the virus under control. Doctors and scientists frantically work on a way to treat or cure it. Meanwhile, news agencies, public health organizations such as the WHO and the CDC work to dispel rumors, replacing them with timely and practical information. The big takeaways: wash your hands often, cover your mouth when you cough, stay home if you’re sick.

Smartphone producers are bound to be the worst impacted, with production predicted to decline 12 percent this quarter compared to previous years, reaching a 5-year low. The Mobile World Congress cancelled their annual phone show in Barcelona due to the virus. The MWC is one of, if not the, the biggest phone show in the world.

Apple announced they will not meet their quarterly goals, due to the impact of the coronavirus, hitting the tech giant on a few levels. Factories have been closed, though some are already reopening. Apple isn’t only feeling the impact due to supply and production concerns, but also because their global sales goals include sales within China, and sales are down.

Predictions are similarly dismal for smartwatches, laptop PCs, and smart speakers. The DRAM and NAND flash markets will likely stay on top of things, as they have production largely automated.

Amazon has not yet voiced much about their own issues, but we know from the stock market that it can’t be pretty. Amazon also has an estimated half of its products coming out of China. Like the other big companies, they are poised to lose a lot and see their stock value stripped of its sheen.

Video game console manufacturing is another industry to watch. However, they seem fairly protected for now, with the bulk of their business taking place toward the end of the year. New product launches, the PS5 and Xbox Series X will launch closer to the winter holidays, which gives the science industry pros time to fight and contain the spread of COVID-19 before it causes too much chaos in the gaming industry.

We have yet to see where this will all end. COVID-19 is on the move, and it’s taking these tech giants–and our global economy–on a scary, roller coaster ride. Despite the stock market taking a nosedive and tech labor and supply streams being hard-hit, you’re still more likely to catch the flu than the coronavirus. While we watch for better news, cross your fingers and remember to wash your hands. This one’s coming in hot.

Continue Reading

Tech News

Five inexpensive VPNs to keep your data yours

(TECH NEWS) If you work on public internet or are just looking to beef up your internet security VPNs could be your answer. Here are five worth looking into.

Published

on

remote work vpns

We must speak, as we so often do, of l33t h4x0rz.

Let’s get blunt. We have reached the point in the evolution of technology where access to your personal data is equivalent to access to everything you own. Data security breach, which involves fewer twentysomethings with improbable hair and more Russian state actors than 90s movies led me to believe, can be the end of a business, especially a small one.

Frustratingly, the mainstream market hasn’t really produced perfect solutions for that. At present, you really have two options.

Option one, you roll with AppleFacebookGoogleSoft. Different companies, same model: hand your data to a giant organization with an affirmative interest in keeping it confidential. That can work! It can also, y’know, not. A lot.

Option two, full infogeek. Pull together All The Information and put it behind tight security you control. We’re big fans of this. On the other hand, we’re geeks. Doing this successfully requires knowledge, specialty tools and changes in behavior that may not be practical for you.

Ain’t exactly optimal, those options. So for the love of the white hat, what’s to do? Where’s the middle ground between “put it in a big sack and hand it to HugeCorpCo” and “lock every 0 and 1 in a painstakingly handcrafted box?”

Meet your friends, VPNs. Virtual private networks aren’t just the irritating things you have to sign into before another constructive day on the cube farm. For any entrepreneur or freelancer who isn’t into a rad Linux solution, VPNs are a straight-up necessity. They’re how you Internet without people keeping logs (your ISP does), tracking your activity (everybody does), or carrying off your innocent data to the dark web or the Kremlin.

Better yet? There are lots of good ones that are inexpensive, reliable, and only a Google away. Here’s 5. Unranked, because every VPN is a beautiful snowflake.

IPVanish wins at efficiency. They own 100 percent of their resources, rather than outsourcing any work to third parties. That means high speed and optimal security, since their commitment to keeping zero information on their clients can’t be undercut by nosy contractors.

NordVPN has tech wizardry going for it, with double encryption and even an optional kill switch that automatically disconnects you from the Internet if anything goes amiss with the VPN. Nord also wins at most devices per subscription, and will happily wrap up to 6 of your robots in the warm embrace of infosec.

Private Internet Access, in addition to winning the Most Straightforwardly Named Product Ever award I just made up, is great for power users, with unlimited bandwidth and a subscription allowing up to 5 devices. It’s also super simple, designed to run in the background while you go about your digital day, so for folks who aren’t looking for bundled apps or a shiny interface, this is your guy.

PureVPN gets compatibility cred, since it’s usable across Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows and even provides proxy workarounds for Chrome and Firefox. It also has a frankly enormous server network, which is good news for speed freaks.

TunnelBear, in addition to being adorable, is extremely user friendly. It’s kind of the anti-PIA, with a rich interface and lots of shiny features. Those features include neat security tricks like Intellibear, allowing users to selectively VPN into particular sites, and Vigilant Mode, which makes like Nord and blocks Internet traffic in case of outages.

Snowflake jokes aside, the list really isn’t ranked, and for reason. Your VPN will be your gateway to the Internet. What works for you is totally contingent on what you do and what you need. There are only two definitive rules.

One, never free. A free trial is fine. “Free VPN” is online shorthand for “place all your information in this bucket, which I will then steal, seal and sell to the Internet’s many, many buyers of evil buckets of data.”

Two, it’s a numbers game. There are countless choices for VPNs on the market. The entries on our list offer substantially similar services to dozens of others. What makes our 5 special?

Twelve bucks. The maximum cost of each of the 5 VPNs above is less than twelve dollars per month. Most cost less: spring for a subscription and you can get the average cost down to 2 or 3 dollars monthly. But month to month, no obligation, even the most expensive entry on the list – that’s a tie between NordVPN and PureVPN – costs you less than twelve dollars a month.

Beat that for peace of mind.

Continue Reading

Tech News

How to personalize your site for every visitor without learning code

(TECH NEWS) New tool from Proof lets you personalize your website for visitors without coding. Experiences utilizes your users to create the perfect view for them.

Published

on

experiences welcome page

What if you could personalize every step of the sales funnel? The team over at Proof believes this is the next best step for businesses looking to drive leads online. Their new tool, Experiences, is a marketer-friendly software that lets you personalize your website for every visitor without coding.

Using Experiences your team can create a targeted experience for the different types of visitors coming to your website. The personalization is thought to drive leads more efficiently because it offers visitors exactly the information they want. Experiences can also be used to A/B test different strategies for your website. This could be a game changer for companies that target multiple specific audiences.

Experiences is a drag-and-drop style tool, which means nearly anyone on your team can learn to use it. The UX is meant to be intuitive and simple, so you don’t need a web developer to guide you through the process. In order to build out audiences for your website, Experiences pulls data from your CRM, such as SalesForce and Hubspot, or you can utilize a Clearbit integration which pull third-party information.

Before you go rushing to purchase a new tool for your team, there are a few things to keep in mind. According to Proof, personalization is best suited for companies with at least 15,000 plus visitors per month. This volume of visitors is necessary for Experiences to gather the data it needs to make predictions. The tool is also recommended for B2B businesses since company data is public.

The Proof team is a success story of the Y Combinator demo day. They pitched their idea for a personalized web experience and quickly found themselves funded. Now, they’ve built out their software and have seen success with their initial clients. Over the past 18 months, their early-access clients, which included brands like Profitwell and Shipbob, have seen an increase in leads, proposals, and downloads.

Perhaps the best part of Proof is that they don’t just sell you a product and walk away. Their website offers helpful resources for customers called Playbooks where you can learn how to best use the tool to achieve your company’s goals be it converting leads or engaging with your audience. If this sounds like exactly the tool your team needs, you can request a demo on their website.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!