Strength testing of low-cost 3D-printed transtibial prosthetic socket

Merel van der Stelt*, Luc Verhamme, Cornelis H. Slump, Lars Brouwers, Thomas J.J. Maal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Measurement and production of traditional prosthetic sockets are time-consuming, labor-intensive, and highly dependent on the personnel involved. An alternative way to make prostheses is using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) may be an alternative to make low-cost prosthetic sockets. This study investigates the tensile properties of potential printing materials suitable for FFF according to ISO527 (Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics). To ensure that FFF-printed sockets are safe for patient usage, the structural integrity of the 3D-printed prosthesis will be investigated according to ISO10328 (International Standard Structural Testing of Lower Limb Prostheses). Tough PLA was the most suitable print material according to ISO 527 testing. The Tough PLA printed socket completed 2.27 million cycles and a static test target value of 4025 N. Future research remains necessary to continue testing new potential materials, improve print settings, and improve the socket design for the production of FFF-printed transtibial prosthetic sockets. FFF using Tough PLA can be used to create transtibial prostheses that almost comply with the International Standard for Structural Testing of Lower Limb Prostheses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 1 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • 3D-printing
  • fused filament fabrication
  • ISO 10328
  • ISO 527
  • low-cost
  • strength testing
  • transtibial prosthetic socket

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