An area of interest in orthopaedics is the development of efficient customized neck orthoses, considered that pathologies which affect the neck area are widespread. Advanced acquisition and modelling approaches combined with Additive Manufacturing (AM) can potentially provide customized orthoses with improved performance and complexity. However, in the design of these devices, besides functional and structural requirements, benefit and comfort of the patient should be a main concern, in particular, at the early stage of design during the acquisition of the body’s part, and while using the printed orthosis. In this paper, a scanning system with three sensors was developed which allows a fast, about 5 s, and accurate acquisition of the neck area with minimum discomfort for the patient. A neck orthosis with a ventilation pattern obtained by Topology Optimization (TO), lightened by about 35%, was also established. In fact, a main role for comfort is played by the ventilation pattern which contributes both to lightness and breathability. Its structural and comfort performance was evaluated in comparison with an orthosis with a ventilation pattern configured by Voronoi cells. Structural assessment was carried out by means of finite element analysis under main loading conditions. An evaluation of neck temperatures in relation to wearing 3D printed prototypes, manufactured with Hemp Bio-Plastic® filament, was finally conducted by means of a thermal imaging camera. TO orthosis prototype showed a better performance regarding thermal comfort, with a maximum increase of neck temperature less than 1 °C, which makes the proposed configuration very promising for user's comfort.

Neck orthosis design for 3D printing with user enhanced comfort features

Ambu R.
Primo
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

An area of interest in orthopaedics is the development of efficient customized neck orthoses, considered that pathologies which affect the neck area are widespread. Advanced acquisition and modelling approaches combined with Additive Manufacturing (AM) can potentially provide customized orthoses with improved performance and complexity. However, in the design of these devices, besides functional and structural requirements, benefit and comfort of the patient should be a main concern, in particular, at the early stage of design during the acquisition of the body’s part, and while using the printed orthosis. In this paper, a scanning system with three sensors was developed which allows a fast, about 5 s, and accurate acquisition of the neck area with minimum discomfort for the patient. A neck orthosis with a ventilation pattern obtained by Topology Optimization (TO), lightened by about 35%, was also established. In fact, a main role for comfort is played by the ventilation pattern which contributes both to lightness and breathability. Its structural and comfort performance was evaluated in comparison with an orthosis with a ventilation pattern configured by Voronoi cells. Structural assessment was carried out by means of finite element analysis under main loading conditions. An evaluation of neck temperatures in relation to wearing 3D printed prototypes, manufactured with Hemp Bio-Plastic® filament, was finally conducted by means of a thermal imaging camera. TO orthosis prototype showed a better performance regarding thermal comfort, with a maximum increase of neck temperature less than 1 °C, which makes the proposed configuration very promising for user's comfort.
2023
Orthosis modelling; Reverse engineering; CAD; Additive manufacturing ; Topology optimization; Thermal comfort comfor
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/387503
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