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Home  >  Medical Research Archives  >  Issue 149  > Innovation in Ulnar Deviation Orthosis using Parametric Design and Additive Manufacturing
Published in the Medical Research Archives
Mar 2024 Issue

Innovation in Ulnar Deviation Orthosis using Parametric Design and Additive Manufacturing

Published on Mar 26, 2024




Background: Technologies of additive manufacturing (AM) enable the creation of parts with suitable finish and resistance, including those with complex geometries, which allows custom design and rapid manufacturing solutions at reliable cost, thus making possible its application to orthotic and therapeutic devices in rehabilitation practice.

Objective: To introduce the development of computer-designed orthotic tools through parametrization for manufacturing of custom dynamic orthoses for ulnar deviation.

Methods: The methodology consisted of two stages, with the first involving the development of parametric design methodology and the second involving the project evolution from the evaluation with 23 participants.

Results: The final design had six components with 10 reference measurements from the hand to the arm, whose data were entered into an electronic spreadsheet (MS Excel) so that the CAD software could automatically redraw the parts in a few seconds.  The parts were manufactured by using FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) in about 10 hours, including 15 minutes for assembly and adjustments.

Discussion: The choice of this new methodology came from the need to have a tool that could be easy to handle by therapists in any clinic setting, and also enable the therapist to use her/his skills to evaluate and provide functional training of the kinetic orthosis, without the need to have specific skills or materials to manufacture the device.

Conclusion: The parametric orthosis project was successful at different levels of deformity, providing ulnar deviation correction and enabling full wrist and finger flexion/extension without causing any disturbance during daily activities. Although the initial project was costly in relation to the reference version due to the high demand for therapists and the industrial designer, the parametric versions become economic as the cost impact is focused only on the digital manufacturing.

Author info

Valéria Elui, Daniela Goia, Felipe Saconi, Marisa Fonseca, Fausto Medola, Carlos Fortulan

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