Open / Free 3d models for splints and hand braces
June 11, 2014 8:55 AM   Subscribe

I would like to make a custom brace for my wrists and some supports for my aching feet using my 3d printer. What are some good places to get started in approaching this project? Is there a site with some existing models? Has anyone on MeFi done this? Should I just start from a 3d scan of my various body parts and build from there to see what's comfortable or should I just take apart my existing splints and start tweaking parts?

I'm reasonably proficient with a 3d printer and modeling, mostly I just want to avoid re-inventing the wheel. I've read articles about projects where people are making their own prosthetics and braces/splints; but I havn't had any luck in the usual places (Google, Thingiverse, Tinkercad) finding models to use as a base.
posted by humanfont to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Have you seen this cast?
posted by mareli at 9:32 AM on June 11, 2014

Get in touch with Richard Bibb at Loughborough University, UK. This is an active (and non-trivial) area of research, with plenty of ongoing work.

They definitely have wrist splint designs, and might be happy to share.
posted by firesine at 10:22 AM on June 11, 2014

Abby Patterson at Loughborough is also working on this. Here's the project homepage.
posted by firesine at 10:24 AM on June 11, 2014

This does not directly answer your question, but it may still be helpful to you:

instead of (or in addition to) printing, have you considered working with polymorph / friendly plastic? That could be a really nice and easy* way to make a working prototype that can then be scanned and printed.

*(melt in hot water, then free-form by hand and by pushing it onto the body parts it needs to fit to)
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:29 AM on June 11, 2014

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