Medical 3D printing has many applications in various fields. A young disabled man suffering from a limb paresis needed a device that would help him grab objects with his hand and perform physical activities. Biomedical Engineering student Eliza Wrobel faced the challenge of designing a special rehabilitation orthosis for him. She started with making a ceramic mold of patient’s right hand and digitalized it with 3D scanning tools. Using CAD software she then designed a light and durable construction with a simple lever mechanism enabling the patient to easily clench and rest his hand.
3D design composed of over 70 parts including the main husk fitted to the wrist, five sets of finger casings and a complex lever mechanism connected to the main lever of the husk. All these parts were exported as STL files and then prepared for 3D printing in Voxelizer software. ZMorph 2.0 S hybrid 3D printer with single head extruder 1.75 mm and ABS filament of different colors were later used to manufacture all the parts. Small metal screws were used to assemble smaller components while the main mechanism connects with 3D printed latches.
With the help of ZMorph 2.0 S hybrid 3D printer Eliza was able to quickly fabricate, improve and finalize a working prototype of her design. Desktop machine proved to be a quick, reliable and inexpensive alternative to outsourcing prototyping services based on industrial 3D printers. Thanks to the durability of ABS-based 3D parts printed on the ZMorph, the prototype can even be used in a limited capacity by the patient during his physical activities. Further works on this student’s idea could soon result in a wide production of custom-made rehabilitation orthosis for patients with a hand paresis and thus significantly improve their everyday life.