Monday, October 31, 2011

Bespoke Innovations Turn Prosthetics Into Art Pieces

Scott Summit, an Industrial Engineer from Stanford, has founded a company called Bespoke Innovations whose purpose is to use cutting edge technologies to drastically improve the self-esteem to those who have suffered limb loss by creating custom prosthetics that are not only very functional but also stunning pieces of art. Utilizing modern design, engineering, and manufacturing techniques, this company can create and produce bespoke prosthetic limb fairing in as little as 30 hours, starting at $4,000.  More information after the jump.

The process starts with a 3D scan of the client's legs and prosthetic, which is used to create an overall shape for the fairing that matches the contours of their body and their remaining limb. From there the client works with a designer to choose materials like metal or plastic, finishes like leather or a high gloss polish, and even adornments like sculpted features or laser-etched tattoos. The process also takes into account when they intend to wear them, so choosing lighter materials would make them better suited for sports and physical activities. But the overall goal of the process is to produce a fairing that's unique to every client so they're defined by how it looks, not the fact that they need one in the first place.

Both utilitarian and beautiful, the Bespoke staff works with people to customize the designs and materials to reflect individual personality and tastes. Some are finished with ballistic nylon or polished nickel. One was covered in quilted leather, like a Chanel handbag. For a military veteran with a love of tribal tattoos, the team scanned a favorite tattoo design from one leg and fabricated the fairing using that theme. A competitive soccer player who lost his leg to cancer chose an aircraft-like honeycomb design that allowed him to play soccer again.

Summit, who works alongside co-founder Kenneth Trauner, MD, a Bay Area orthopedic surgeon, hinted that his interdisciplinary team of designers, engineers, physicians, and entrepreneurs has other innovations under wraps that will push the boundaries of human prosthetics and be “the coolest things you’ve ever seen.”

Check out the clip below of Scott Summit talking about the Bespoke Innovation's work.

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