Date of Award
Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is disrupting fabrication techniques, bringing new design possibilities with associated benefits of less waste, improved design, improved time management, and less cost. The field of Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P) is investigating how 3D printing, a subset of AM, can be used for fabrication of O&P devices. Before this technology is fully accepted, it needs to go through rigorous testing to ensure the safety of the individuals using the devices and the longevity of the devices themselves to ensure long term-use as a viable option. Research needs to define which type of 3D printing technology and what printed materials practitioners can rely on.
This study will focus on three 3D printing technologies, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), and Multi Jet Printing (MJP) along with multiple printable materials. These printed sockets will be identical to each other and undergo 600,000 repetitions on a Tinius Olsen machine. The sockets will be visually assessed, tested with dye to identify any defects, and brought to ultimate failure using the Tinius Olsen machine. Visual and numerical fail points will be recorded which will be compared to the ISO 10328 threshold of 4480N, identifying which 3D printing technologies and printed materials will best be suited for O&P devices. As 3D printing continues to evolve and integrate into the O&P community, this study will serve as a basis to know what 3D printing technologies and materials will keep patients safe while still serving the ultimate purpose of regaining and maintaining their mobility.