3D Printing

In producing customized prosthetics using digitally-aided design and production technologies, three basic steps can be isolated:

Each of these steps can be executed using a variety of methods, and each method has its own benefits, fall-backs, and dependencies. Potential methods (and potential dependencies for those methods) within the above categories might include:

1. CAPTURE

PERMUTATIONS

Scanning body parts
Scanning plaster positives
Using existing models

DEPENDENCIES

Time/speed, portable equipment, internet connection or processing power
Availability, redundancy
Availability, imprecision

2. DESIGN

PERMUTATIONS

Customizing a standard shape
Building a shape from scratch

DEPENDENCIES

Existence of a standard shape, availability
Expertise, time, software

3. PRINT

PERMUTATIONS

Printing whole prostheses
Printing liners
Printing modular parts

DEPENDENCIES

Expense, materials, time
Complexity of materials
Precision, expertise

Carrying out each of the above permutations, as well as others as they arrive, will allow us to explore a variety of ways in which the three stages can be carried out.

Additionally, evaluating different permutations within the three categories will offer ground for insight into which environments and conditions (both social and infrastructural) might be best suited to particular methods.