Brent Wright, CP/BOC/O, believes the future of prosthetics lies in additive manufacturing. After 20 years in the Orthotics and Prosthetics field, Wright has witnessed how this technology is changing mindsets in the U.S. That said, he feels it has much wider implications: making prosthetics affordable and attainable, globally.
Brent, currently an O&P practitioner in Raleigh, NC, also founded LifEnabled, Inc. with his wife, Meredith. The nonprofit’s primary focus is meeting the needs of amputees in impoverished parts of the world. To date, most of their work been in the Péten region of Guatemala, where they run bi-annual prosthetic clinics. Recently, they have refocused their efforts on the future of prosthetics: using 3D-printing.
In an effort to lay the groundwork for 3D prosthetic printing, Brent developed the DigiScan 3D app. This app was built from scratch, for the Structure.io Scanner, and pairs to your iPad or iPhone. You can easily scan, capture, and store your images while offline. Once you connect, you bring the properly scaled STL (or OBJ) from DigiScan 3D into Remake. Remake allows you to clean up and convert the mesh, prior to handing it off to Fusion 360. In Fusion 360, Brent then finishes the process by taking the scan into the mesh & sculpt environments to connect the finished shape to the distal ends.
LifEnabled is excited for the potential this process provides. “The combination of DigiScan 3D and Fusion 360 opens the door for more people to become involved. We are able to maximize time with help from volunteer practitioners. They can modify scans directly from their computer, without ever leaving their community.” says Wright.
Brett has become very efficient with this process and is currently working on a 3D-printed socket design with embedded components. “Now, instead of spending long hours fabricating in the lab, we are able to double the amount of patients we help. We are only limited by the number of printers we can run at one time.”, elaborates Wright. Ultimately, he sees these types of developments as a game changer for both the profit and not-for-profit prosthetics industry worldwide. More simply put, “its a viable option for anyone who wants to make an impact today.”, says Wright.
If you’re interested in being part of the future of advanced prosthetics, check out the DigiScan3D app. While the App was designed with the prosthetic industry in mind, the features are also beneficial for hobbyists and those in prototyping industries. Any purchases made directly supports amputees in need through LifEnabled, Inc.
More about LifEnabled, Inc.
LifEnabled’s founders Brent and Meredith Wright have been providing clinics in Guatemala for the past 10 years. Their desire is to increase access to those around the world who would otherwise have no hope for prosthetic care. LifEnabled is intimately involved with two major 3D printing organizations and are on the forefront of creating prosthetics for the developing world. These prosthetics are high-quality, durable, and made with compassion to provide hope and wholeness to their patients.
Contact : Meredith Wright – Meredith@LifEnabled.org