Design and additive manufacturing of a patient specific polymer thumb splint concept

2020-07-10T14:23:31Z (GMT) by Mazher Mohammed Pearse Fay
Traditionally, upper limb splints often fall short of being optimal with respect fit and patient expectations, resulting in a lack of use and no treatment of the underlying condition. In this study we address several current limitations and examine the feasibility of using 3D optical scanning, Computer Aided Design (CAD) and low cost 3D printing as a tool to create more ergonomic and efficacious splints for patients suffering from compromised musculature or trauma of the thumb. Optical scanning allows for a non-invasive and rapid means to reproduce the surface topology of a person's hand and this data was used as the template for the device design. We explore the use of CAD to create a more aesthetically pleasing and functional splint, enhancing both comfort and potential moisture release. Finally, we demonstrate that low cost polymer printing can allow for rapid design evaluation and production of a final, usable device.