ProsFit simplifies prosthetics manufacturing by 3D printing prosthetics with HP Multi Jet Fusion

HP 3D printing enables ProsFit to improve the development of 3D printed prosthetic leg socket.



Healthcare: Custom prosthetics


HP 3D High Reusability (HR)2 PA 12


To leverage 3D printing to simplify and improve the manufacturing of 3D printed prosthetics.



HP Multi Jet Fusion technology

HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D Printer


HP Multi Jet Fusion’s digital manufacturing solution help prosthetics clinics create custom 3D printed prosthetics.



Consistency and comfort issues with previous 3D printed prosthetic leg sockets

"The traditional process for creating and fitting a leg prosthetic is long, complex, and uncomfortable for the patient,” said ProsFit Co-founder and CTO, Christopher Hutchison. “It involves taking a plaster cast, creating a mold, and casting resin around it. Often this involves several visits to the prosthetist and results in multiple fittings to get a device that is only marginally effective."

Until recently, prosthetic sockets were made using a plaster mold. The process of fitting a prosthetic was expensive and could take several weeks, which was inconvenient for the patient.

Prior to working with HP, ProsFit successfully commercialized medically regulated ProsFit Original sockets using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printing technology. However, the company experienced several challenges, the greatest of which was output consistency. ProsFit estimated that two out of every 10 3D printed prosthetic leg sockets did not pass their rigorous quality assurance test. Furthermore, the surface finish of the end product was often likened to a prototype and did not meet patients’ expectations.

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“Sockets made using HP 3D printing are flexible and strong, while at the same time more comfortable and natural to walk on.”

Christopher Hutchison, Co-founder and CTO, ProsFit


The process of 3D printing prosthetics with HP MJF

At the core of ProsFit’s solution is a cloud-based software called PandoFit. Based on Computer-aided Design (CAD), the software allows prosthetists to design and 3D print lower limb sockets for patients. The clinician takes a 3D scan of the patient’s limb and uploads the information into PandoFit, where the prosthetist can modify the design of the prosthetic to best fit the patient. Once the design is reviewed with the patient, a 3D printed prosthetic socket can be ordered directly through the software. The final 3D printed prosthetic leg socket is then shipped to the clinician’s office for the final fitting.

The ProsFit Optimal 3D printed prosthetic leg sockets are manufactured using HP Jet Fusion 3D printing solutions, and each is sold as a regulated, custom-made medical device. Prior to launch, the prosthetic devices underwent significant regulatory testing in the European Union (EU), where they are regulated for weight bearing up to 125 kg.

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ProsFit’s 3D printed prosthetics leg socket enable confident mobility

By digitizing the process of creating a 3D printed prosthetic leg socket, ProsFit has reduced the time it takes to make and deliver a socket from weeks to days, which also results in lower costs and improved convenience for the patient. The final 3D printed prosthetic leg socket can now be made and fitted in only two visits.
For clinics and medical centers, ProsFit’s new digital solution for 3D printing prosthetics also has delivered a significant benefit in terms of productivity: Clinicians can fit five times as many patients with the same resources.

What’s more, "The fit and finish are what you'd expect from a finished product," Hutchinson said about the 3D printed prosthetic leg socket. "The aesthetics are a big deal for patients. A better-looking final product improves customer acceptance."

HP MJF allows ProsFit to choose how all their products are manufactured: With FDM, ProsFit was limited to vertical production, but with HP 3D printing, they can choose the orientation that provides the best combination of quality, strength, flexibility, and economics.
"HP’s 3D printing technology can easily be applied to other areas of medicine, as well, including orthotics, braces, exoskeletons, and even dentistry," said Alan Hutchison,
Co-founder and CEO of ProsFit.
The combination of 3D scanning, software, and 3D printing has enabled ProsFit to deliver on its promise of providing a fully digital solution for the prosthetics industry.

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  1. All images data courtesy of ProsFit
  2. HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solutions using HP 3D High Reusability PA 12 provide up to 80% powder reusability ratio, producing functional parts batch after batch. For testing, material is aged in real printing conditions and powder is tracked by generations (worst case for reusability). Parts are then made from each generation and tested for mechanical properties and accuracy.