This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Approach for The Development of Low Cost Prosthetic Limbs with 3D Printing Technology




Mei, Zhe

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Industrial Design


After limb amputation, the stump muscle needs to define its shape for at least three to six months during atrophy to allow permanent prosthesis installation, but to some degree, there exist amyotrophy after the artificial limb installation, which causes economic and spiritual burdens to the patient. Meanwhile the stump cannot receive appropriate physical therapy. Traditional prostheses cannot meet different users' requirement types. Modern prosthesis parts and components are expensive, and prosthesis parts and components are limited. Also different types of parts and components have the deficiency of inadequate interchangeability. Amputees need comfortable prosthetics in order to use and accept the new technology on their limbs. In this case, it becomes important to help the disabled people to get comfortable, with reduced or eliminated more pain, which will make their lives easier. The topic of the thesis aims to combine technology and human body with multi-material 3D printing, from the perspectives of physiological status or requirements of human body, and psychological status of the disabled, especially the needs of physiological parts. This means using scientific knowledge, combined with three-dimensional-printing technology, will make possible building products for the disabled so that amputees will feel more comfortable and greater convenience when using prosthetics. The improvement developed in this study will focus on developing low-cost prosthetic limbs with 3D printing technology, which based on human requirement, because 3D printing has customization advantages. We will then conclude with several design guidelines for the development of products to improve the experience of using prosthetics for amputees.