The prosthetic socket made using the composite sleeve produced by the Artek Braiding Company (belongs to the TechnoSpark Group of Companies) designed to customised dimensions is now being tested for regular use. The socket was ordered by the 3D Technology Startup from Tomsk. The company produces customized prosthetic sockets using 3D technologies.
A prosthetic socket is a component of the prosthesis that partly replaces the function of limb after its amputation. A prothesis consists of modules picked by the doctor: a socket, a fixture system, module parts and the foot. The prosthetic socket is in direct contact with the human body, supporting its weight, and is always produced individually. In Russia, rehabilitation and rehabilitation items are funded by the social insurance fund.
The socket produced using a braided composite sleeve proves to be more robust, lightweight and technological than its counterparts.
“Our company is introducing new design methods in production of customized prosthetic sockets that allow for the production of required sockets in one iteration rather than 3-4 commonly used now. We are testing materials suitable for the socket: plastic of various types, and composite materials. The socket produced from a braided sleeve does not have any seams which means it withstands higher pressure than suture materials—additive components or ones produced from composite sheets, and it is lighter than plastic, too, which is, of course, important for the user,” says Alexander Buzimov, Director of the 3D Technology Company.
At present in Russia, prosthetic sockets are produced from thermoplastic polymer materials. The process of socket production includes at least 124 steps. Prosthetic sockets made of composite materials are offered by a number of foreign companies—Otto Bock, Össur, Chas A Blatchford & Sons.
To prepare a pilot prosthetic socket, Artek Braiding produced mold fittings in accordance with the specified 3D model, selected materials and diameter of the sleeve, and developed the plan for fitting and baking the item.
As a producer of composite braided preforms, Artek Braiding is interested in expanding the area of application of their products, therefore it engineers finished items. For the record, composite sleeves produced by Artek Braiding were used in production of seamless ice hockey sticks, carbon pipes, bicycle parts, streetlight supports and bridges.