3D printers are gaining popularity and are becoming affordable for consumers. Today thanks to open source databases, it’s possible to print your own prosthetic. The downside to that is you won’t get the sophisticated electronic user interfaces found in expensive state-of-the-art prosthetics. Recently a Virginia Tech professor and his team of undergraduate student researchers have made progress in integrating electronic sensors into 3D printed prosthetics. The advantage of integrating these sensors is to gather information related to function and comfort.
Eventually, the goal is to have the sensors printed as the prosthetic is printed, instead of manually adding the sensor after printing. Although much more research has to be done in this field, this advancement could pave the way for affordable state-of-the-art prosthetics that can better peoples lives around the world.