Post-Processing 3D printed prosthetics for comfort, safety and strength with AMT PostPro.
One commonly cited limitation of 3D printing is the surface finish of 3D printed parts, which usually have visible layers – the opposite of injection moulded parts, which are perfectly smooth and ready to go.
Thankfully, you can achieve the injection-moulded look with AMT PostPro technology, which uses chemical vapour smoothing to smooth and seal 3D-printed parts made from common thermoplastics in minutes.
The flexibility of 3D printing is found in every industry, and prosthetics manufacturing is one of the biggest benefactors, enabling the rapid prototyping of medical equipment and prosthetics that change lives and improve patient outcomes.
3D printing and refining prosthetics
Prosthetic device manufacturer Proteo turned to AMT for post-processing its 3D-printed DuoSocket prosthetic. They printed the prosthetic socket using HP’s MJF 3D printing technology and then finished it with PostPro.
Proteo’s designers used TPU for the inner socket and PA12 for the outer layer but found the surface finish was too rough. The inner socket was too uncomfortable for patients to wear, despite being custom-made.
AMT’s PostPro chemical vapour smoothing technology was deployed to finish the part’s surface, eliminating visible layers and rough edges. The sealing also solved the challenge of bacteria growth from liquid intake, helping assure sterilisation.
The patient found that the TPU inner layer was far more comfortable to wear after the vapour smoothing process. The PA12 outer layer was durable and stable, allowing the patient to wear the prosthetic daily.
PostPro technology is highly controllable, allowing reproducible results with no degradation of a part’s mechanical properties. It doesn’t add any or remove materials from parts – it only changes the composition of the top layer.
Proteo uses PostPro technology to finish various prosthetic parts, improving their performance and aesthetics. It also opens up exciting possibilities for sealing surfaces, making certifying products for skin contact easier.
The technology is suitable for finishing parts made with Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), and Fused filament fabrication (FFF/FDM).
Part: Proteo DuoSocket
This story was originally published by AMT Technologies.