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3D printing applied to prosthesis design: study of the materials and parameters that influence mechanical resistance, friction and performance in manual gripping activities

Grant number: 19/20433-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2019
Effective date (End): November 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Industrial Design - Product Design
Principal researcher:Fausto Orsi Medola
Grantee:Erica Tiemi Tobaro
Home Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura, Artes e Comunicação (FAAC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil


Upper limb amputation prostheses are inefficient, difficult to use and aesthetically unpleasant, especially for children and young people, resulting in high rejection rates. In the Healthcare area, 3D printing has enabled the development of custom devices with the perspective of helping the needs and preferences of users, as well as reducing the cost of the product. However, despite the growing number of publications and reports of the usability of these technologies in prosthetic and orthotic designs so far, the materials and printing parameters that determine the best conditions of use and strength of these products are unknown. In this sense, this project aims to evaluate the influence of different materials most commonly used in 3D printing, and the processes parameters on the mechanical strength and friction of parts, as well as the performance in manual tasks. In a first step, specimens with ABS, PLA and PETG filaments and variation in printing parameters (such as infill, layer thickness and speed) will be subjected to mechanical tests with the Bionix MTS system by the use of a roughness meter device. Then, prostheses with the same variations will be developed, which will be subjected to manual gripping tests with evaluation of the ability to support the object with the gripping mechanism activated. It is expected that this project will contribute to the determination of the printing conditions that result in the best mechanical, friction and functional performance of upper limb prostheses, contributing from this area of the Design, Assistive Technology and Biomedical Engineering. (AU)

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