Giving patients what they want: proposing additive manufacture as a method to design and fabricate wrist splints

Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis may be prescribed wrist splints as part of their treatment regime however; compliance is known to be a problem. Whilst the literature provides an insight into some of the determinants behind compliance, it does not provide comprehensive knowledge of the reasons why patients wear and do not wear wrist splints. Recently, additive manufacturing has been proposed to create wrist splints. However, before developments in AM are made further, it needs to be understood why patients do not comply and what it is about the splint itself which makes patients not want to wear them. The aim of this paper is to use generative design research methods to understand these motivators, highlight the negative features of traditional splints, and explore participants’ dreams for a future splint. This data is then used to discuss how AM can be used in the splinting process.