A review of wrist splint designs for additive manufacture
Currently, patients with wrist ailments may be prescribed wrist splints to aid in their treatment regime. The traditional fabrication process of custom-made splints is skill dependent, time-consuming and the splints themselves pose numerous problems with regards to patient compliance. To overcome this, the use of Additive Manufacture has been proposed in recent years and there has been an increase in public awareness and exploration. Many of these developments have been as a result of the Maker-movement, the Internet-of-Things and development of more accessible technologies and infrastructures to enable production of AM builds; hobbyists, industry and academia are exploring the use of AM for splints, all with strengths and weaknesses. This paper highlights and describes specific examples of AM wrist splints currently available in the public domain and summarises strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the future implementation into the healthcare sector.
This PhD research is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, under the Centre for Doctoral Training in Additive Manufacture and 3D Printing, in association with Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham, The University of Liverpool and Newcastle University.