Parametric Prosthetics : Creating a digital workflow for individualised design
Digital design technologies and data collection methods are increasingly being used to cater for personal specification of products and services.
The current process of fitting and making below-knee prosthetics is labour intensive and time consuming. Whilst artificial limb service providers have begun to implement digital technologies, opportunities for individualised prosthesis using parametric modelling and additive manufacture remain unrealised.
In response this thesis develops a digital workflow which acts as the tailor in the prosthetic design process. Together with additive manufacture the capability of parametric variation is examined as a demonstration of future possibilities.
The research looks at innovative ways to visualise future products in the form of a fully 3D printed prosthesis that challenges existing methods. Using field research, design experiments, parametric software and simulated anthropometric models a range of virtual and physical lower limbs were constructed.
The resulting prototypes were evaluated against current methods of making and workflows and engaged with experts in the industry. The outcome reveals new economic and aesthetic possibilities for the wide diversity of people requiring lower limb prosthesis whilst enhancing the innovation prospect of service providers.