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Medicine Technology

Paralyzed Woman Walks Again With 3D-Printed Robotic Exoskeleton 41

Posted by Soulskill
from the paging-dr.-hawkins dept.
Zothecula writes "3D Systems, in collaboration with Ekso Bionics, has created a 3D-printed robotic exoskeleton that has restored the ability to walk in a woman paralyzed from the waist down. The Ekso-Suit was trialled and demonstrated by Amanda Boxtel, who was told by her doctor that she'd never walk again after a skiing accident in 1992. 'Designers from 3D Systems scanned her body, digitizing the contours of her spine, thighs, and shins, a process that helped them mold the robotic suit to her. Then they combined the suit with a set of mechanical actuators and controls made by EksoBionics. ... One problem that the designers faced in this case was that a paralyzed person like Boxtel often can't know that bruising is happening because she can't feel it. That's dangerous, Summit said, because undetected bruises or abrasions can become infected. "So we had to be very careful with creating geometry that would dodge the parts of the body that it had to dodge...[designing] parts that wouldn't impede circulation or cause bruising."'"
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Paralyzed Woman Walks Again With 3D-Printed Robotic Exoskeleton

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  • by mythosaz (572040) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @07:39PM (#46291101)

    The exoskeleton wasn't 3d printed. A liner for the exoskeleton was.

    That's like getting 3d printed floor-mats in your car and saying "3d printed car!"

    To obtain the perfect fit for Amanda, our designers used 3D scanning to digitize the contours of Amanda’s thighs, shins and spine and create a personalized three-dimensional base to inform the shape of the required assemblies. Sophisticated mechanical actuators and controls, manufactured and provided by Ekso Bionics, were then integrated with the more fluid components that were 3D printed from the customized scans to create the first ever bespoke suit.

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