THE CHALLENGE - Create a custom-made brace for a patient suffering a work injury
Headquartered in Zhejiang, China, the Zhejiang Artificial Limb Recovery Center was founded in 1958 to provide patients with convenient, consistent and high quality artificial limbs, orthotics and aids. Also known as the Zhejiang Social Welfare Center, the facility is responsible for the development of artificial limbs, orthotics, wheelchairs, handcars and services for the wounded, the disabled and the aged.
Mr. Wang, a machinist in a local tooling factory, suffered a debilitating wrist injury while working on a machine. When he went to the Recovery Center for medical treatment, part of his treatment plan included cooperation with SHINING 3D’s technical team and their latest product the EinScan-Pro 3D Scanner. The following story outlines how with the help of a SHINING 3D Scanner and iSLA-650 3D Printer, his injuries were comfortably healed and he was able to return to work quickly.
So why is additive manufacturing technology and CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing) replacing traditional orthotic methods?
Plaster casting is the traditional method of fitting custom orthotics and prosthetics but this procedure can be messy, time consuming and bothersome. For example, the fitting of plaster casts on children is often stressful for the patient, the parents and the physician. Plus, traditional equipment such as splints and braces are difficult to fit perfectly to the “imperfect” human skeleton. People who use plaster splints and casts usually feel uncomfortable and often develop sores as a result of imperfect fit.
The Better Solution
To enhance patient treatment and to speed up delivery of more accurate orthotic devices, the Zhejiang Recovery Center needed an alternative to traditional plaster casting. They teamed up with Shining 3D to provide a faster, cleaner and less invasive alternative using a 3D scanner, named the EinScan-Pro. This device enables the effortless 3D capture of body parts including limbs, head or torso rapidly and accurately for all patients in a variety of settings. The rise of 3D printing has radically changed the medical community and Shining 3D has been dedicated to bio-medical treatment for more than ten years. Scientists are now regularly using 3D printing technology to design and build a wide variety of implants, prosthesis and more. For internal medicine (inside the human body), stricter certification and approval will be required but 3D-printed orthodontics, splints and prosthesis are frequently put into daily use and with great success.
The EinScan-Pro multi-functional handheld 3D scanner is used in many areas such as medicine, education, industrial manufacturing, research, design, art and heritage. In the field of orthotics and prosthetics, those who really need personalized medical devices are the true beneficiaries of this amazing new technology.
The EinScan-Pro 3D scanner revolutionizes the process of fitting a patient for a prosthetic or orthotic device. The following describes how we used the EinScan-Pro to scan and how we printed the custom-designed splint with an iSLA 3D Printer.
1. SHINING 3D technician’s used the EinScan-Pro to scan the hand, wrist and arm to collect highly-accurate shape data.
2. Based on the 3D scan data acquired by the EinScan-Pro, Recovery Center technicians then used specialized orthopedic processing software (CAD) to design the shape of splint taking into account any joint, muscle or distorted bone mass.
3. The clinic then rapidly manufactured (3D printed) the personalized splint with a SHINING 3D iSLA 3D printer.
For more information, please visit http://en.shining3d.com/print_detail-3567.html The 3D printed personalized splint used Somos GP Plus 14122 photosensitive resin, a material that is similar to ABS and PBT. This tough material is often used in automobile, spaceflight and consumer product industries but is also applicable to bio-medicine and dentistry.
Results and benefits the client achieved
1. The 3D data was acquired without any disruption or pain for the patient. The EinScan-Pro scans with non-contact structured light, which is highly accurate and completely avoids any deformation error that can be caused by traditional plaster casting techniques.
2. All the splint model data can be exported directly to a 3D printer. The Shining 3D iSLA650 3D printer has super-high molding accuracy and very high printing speed. The splint for Mr. Wang only took a couple of hours to create and once fitted, presented immediate advantages of flexibility and comfort.
3. The 3D printed personalized splint offers excellent fitness and orthopedic effects. Because the device allows for in-process limb adjustment, patient rehabilitation and the ability to regain a healthy lifestyle is accelerated.
The SLS-made splint is currently on display at the SHINING 3D Experience center. For more information, please visit
With the release of EP-P380 SLS Nylon 3D Printer, it is now possible for the clinic to use nylon rather than resin which offers superior wear characteristics. To further enhance smoothness and durability, printed parts are often polyurethane-coated. For more information, please visit: http://en.shining3d.com/print_detail-4038.html
“Using 3D scanning and printing technology, we can personalize each splint or prosthesis specifically in accordance with each patient’s physical situation. This allows our patients to move with as much freedom and flexibility as is safely possible. This is a big improvement over plaster casting with less mess and it's fast and easy. "
- Assessment from Zhejiang Recovery Center physicians:
Previous Solution: Traditional Plaster Casting
Benefits: Custom-fitted devices, Improved comfort, Convenience and Time savings