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Three-dimensional (3D) scanning and additive manufacturing (AM) allows the fabrication of customised crutch grips

Parry, EJ, Best, JM and Banks, CE (2020) Three-dimensional (3D) scanning and additive manufacturing (AM) allows the fabrication of customised crutch grips. Materials Today Communications, 25.

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Abstract

© 2020 This paper investigates the viability of using digital technologies, including Three-dimensional laser scanning, reverse engineering techniques and additive manufacturing in order to create bespoke, on demand, customised accessories through re-usable materials to enforce a circular design approach. Crutch users with arthritis are identified as a patient user group who's needs are not met by current solutions. We identified a remote data collection workflow to capture hand grip profiles, followed by a digital workflow resulting in an additively manufacturable customised product. Three-dimensional laser scanning technology captured digital grip profiles which were manipulated in computer aided design (CAD) software to produce a customised hand grip digital file. The prototype was fabricated using fused filament fabrication technology. We demonstrate that fused filament fabrication, a type of additive manufacturing technology, is an appropriate fabrication method to provide a bespoke and rapidly manufactured low-cost solution; the total timeframe to complete digital scanning and file creation is approximately 20 min. Additive manufacturing can be leveraged 24/7 with the customised hand grip rapidly fabricated within ∼10 h, with only material costs of £4.92/∼US$6.15/∼Є5.65. To our knowledge, this study is the first to discuss using fused filament fabrication to fabricate customised daily living aids. Highlights: Fused Filament Fabrication combined with three-dimensional scanning provides a low-cost solution for customised daily living aids. Utilising additive manufacturing creates unexplored opportunities for advanced customisation.

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