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One problem is the outdated manufacturing of prosthetics.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

Earbuds that are noise cancelling hit the market just in time for the holidays

(TECH NEWS) There are no shortage of earbuds on the market, however, Nuheara’s noise cancelling, bluetooth earbuds are sure to top everyone’s wish list.

Published

on

earbuds noise cancelling

Noise cancelling earbuds are efficient for blocking out the world around you – when all you want to hear is your music and nothing else. However, for those who want a smaller, sleeker alternative, Nuheara is the perfect fit.

Nuheara are wireless audio earbuds that are customizable to your hearing needs. Even though they have the same power as noise cancelling headphones, they can be adjusted to amplify or minimize sound based on each situation.

You can choose to blend the sounds of the streets and your new favorite album in order to be aware of the world around you. The earbuds are ideal for any situation.

The noise cancelling earbuds use SINC (Superior Intelligent Noise Control) technology, which lets every user create their custom hearing experience.

There are numerous times when it’s hard to hear because of the noise around us. This may be in crowded restaurants, concerts or even when you’re at home trying to avoid the noisy neighbor in the apartment above you.

The SINC technology applies a frequency filter to sounds you choose to hear or want to avoid. Additionally, the left and right earbuds have their own settings, so that they can be customized individually. Everything is customized through the app, so it’s up to each user to decide!

Prior to founding Nuheara, Justin Miller and David Cannington worked in the oil and gas companies creating industrial strength hearing headsets.

The feedback they received during these experiences paved the way for inventing Nuheara. People wanted a sleek headset that they could wear in everyday life, not just at their job.

The earbuds will set you back a few hundred bucks, but they come with accessories like a battery charger, carrying case and 8 different silicone tips. The battery charger provides three full charges. Nuheara earbuds are also sweat and water resistant, but they are not yet waterproof.

As wireless headphones, Nuheara are also compatible with most Bluetooth connected devices. The earbuds also use tap-touch control to make hands-free phone calls, control music and adjust settings.

There is no need to connect Nuheara to external devices to use their noise cancelling capabilities.

Continue Reading

Tech News

Turn your FAQ page into a chatbot without knowing how to code

(TECH NEWS) An easy way to add a chatbot to your site and automate some of your work is through this new simple tool that doesn’t require any tech know-how.

Published

on

faqbot chatbot

Reduce your workload and personalize customer service engagement with Faqbot, the tool that turns your online FAQ into a customized chatbot.

Co-founded by Denny Wong and CEO Mathis André, Faqbot uses machine learning to streamline frequently asked questions into a handy chatbot pal.

Based on your existing FAQ content, Faqbot builds a database that learns from every conversation to improve responses. Faqbot can also be used to automate sales and lead generation.

You get to design the conversation flow, mapping out a custom path to guide users to a desired outcome. Set predefined choices or free text, customize the bot’s responses, and determine what leading questions the bot should ask.

For example, on the Faqbot site, I was given two pre-set choices to click after each response from the bot. Clicking “Thanks for helping” gets the polite response “You are welcome! ;-)” complete with an old-school emoji featuring a nose.

If you select “not my question,” Faqbot uses its general response to any unanswerable question: “Sorry, I’m a chatbot. I am constantly learning and have answers to frequently asked questions. Thank you for leaving your email and we will get back to you shortly.”

Choose your own responses based on already defined FAQ or come up with new messaging to better engage and inform your customers as needed. The free text option is also available if customers wish to continue asking questions.

Of course, I had to try out some less than frequently asked questions. When I asked Faqbot “are we friends?” it kindly replied, “Absolutely. You don’t have to ask.” So I’m smitten.

However, when I tried to take it to the next level by asking “Do you love me?,” which seems to be the internet’s favorite way to harass a bot, I got the “Sorry, I’m a chatbot” response.

That’s okay. I’ll recover. Faqbot isn’t here to love, it’s here to answer questions.

You can easily install the chatbot by either copy/pasting the snippet of codes directly into your webpage, or connect Faqbot to your company’s Facebook page. No coding skills required.

Pricing is based on number of users per month, but all levels include the same service offerings of FAQ database management, messaging interface, a ticketing system, and DIY guided conversation flow. You can try out Faqbot free for 14 days by signing up on their site.

Continue Reading

Tech News

This note-taking app is perfect for the creative mind

(TECH NEWS) The newest app for note-taking could be a tremendous asset for a very specific type of creative that tools like trello and evernote fall short on… not all apps work for all people.

Published

on

milanote

If you’re like me, you’ve had many phases in your idea-having, note-taking life. There was the AP History period, where I decided the quality of my notes would be judged based on the tininess of my handwriting and the number of innovative abbreviations coined. There was the “song collection” period, in which I wrote down song and band names with reckless abandon, on any scrap of paper or non-paper within reach, and promptly scattered the scraps everywhere. There was the post-it era, in which every single idea was carefully documented on a “Sticky Note” that tiled over my Windows desktop and was impossible to find thereafter.

And then, there was Evernote, and Trello, and I thought my evolution was complete. I had neatly organized “Notebooks” and “Cards” and I felt very structured and efficient and spiritually done with my note-taking journey.

But a whisper of rebellion called out to me. It sounded musical, colorful, whimsical. It asked me whether I wouldn’t like to liberate myself from those neat lists and stacks, let my ideas flow, visualize my thoughts?

It introduced me to Milanote – the note-taking app truly made FOR images, not just tolerant of them.

Milanote markets itself toward creatives: “For the research, thinking and planning behind your next great piece of work.”

But the strengths of this app could benefit anyone who could use a more freeform space to collect their thoughts. A blank page resembles a peg board, and users can add images, notes, links, and more in any configuration their hearts desire. You can also link any elements together with a web of lines, or leave them on their own.

This could be a great app for early-stage brainstorming and planning, when you need to play around and be flexible.

Milanote can be collaborative, like Trello, or individual and personal, like my always-evolving grocery list in Evernote. Milanote currently works in any web browser, and iOs and Android apps are coming soon.

For up to 100 notes, Milanote can be yours free of charge. More than that, though, and you’ll have to pay $9.99 for the pro version.

Something tells me infinity should cost much more, but the organic, customizable concept is something to hold on to.

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!