Hi there Recently I saw a show regarding prosthetic limbs being printed by 3D printers. After some research with regards to prosthetic legs being printed I have only found the exoskeleton being printed and not the whole thing. My question to the community is, can it be done to print a fully working-basic Prosthetic leg? Understand that this is not for an athlete or someone who is very active, it is for my 65 year old retired father. If there is anyone who could shed some light on this for me would be really appreciated. Thank you in advance Johan Nel


Hi Johan,

Prosthetic limbs are usually constructed to withstand immense forces. There is a considerable degree of technology involved in making a standard leg, let alone one for a runner, which usually includes carbon fibre tubing and specifically designed carbon foot, that can absorb impact and return the stored energy in a controllable way. Then there’s the stump cup, which usually includes specific materials to minimise rubbing and often a non-return valve that allows the cup to suck onto the stump. I’ve been into it and the whole area very complex.

That’s not to say that it’s impossible to 3D print an entire leg. Just that it’s probably a whole lot harder that one might think. One only needs to look at the components involved to see that they’re made to aerospace standards…


It might be an idea to get in touch with e-nable, who provide 3D printed hands for people. They may be working on something.





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It’s unclear what the production timeline is for this company, but a recent startup out of Y Combinator specializes in 3D printed prosthetic legs - the price starts at $500. You can follow the company at http://www.standardcyborg.com/ .