Summary of responses to Printed sockets in the third dimension

Charles King



Summary of responses to Printed sockets in the third dimension


Charles King




Hello list: 
Many requests for a summary ofresponses has resulted in the following editedsnippets, links and discussion with parenthetical comments and names removed.  Original post at the end:

If you are not aware of it already, there is a guy doingblogs on YouTube about 3d printing sockets: Limb and Lattice.  He is usingMeshmixer and a hobbyist level filament printer. He seems knowledgeable . . .

 (Nice series ofvideos linked below, let’s grow this practitioner’s subscriber base, can we clear 2000?)

<URL Redacted>


(PDI Squirt Shape:  26seconds in the hammer comes out.  MakesISO 10328 seem restrained and tame):

Here's a brief video showing some of the strength.  There are other videos on the PDI channel.
<URL Redacted>

You raise some good points of concern about the HPsockets.  That technology has a lot ofpotential but still has some issues too. Cost of printing and associated loss of reimbursement of acrylic andultralight codes are a particular concern for me.  There is anecdotal evidence of durability forover a year, but I believe research is still needed, especially related todesign characteristics and how to properly use the HP printer for bestoutcomes.  Those machines have variationson settings, and a socket from one machine could be different from a socketfrom another machine that is being used differently.

I personally only use 3D printing for non-structural and/ornon-definitive items right now.  Testsockets, flexible inner sockets, covers, non-diabetic foot orthoses, and othernon-weight bearing orthoses.
The narrative out there in the media and being pushed bycompanies selling us their hardware and software ecosystems is not necessarilythe best or only narrative around 3D technologies.

As far as I know there are only 2 options for definitivesockets that are 3D printed... the powder bed fusion (MJF or SLS in PA11 orPA12), and FDM (high flow from Filament Innovations with their copoly CPXmaterial).

That being said, there is a lot of buzz around designoptimization. Basically, how thin/lightweight can we go with thesedesigns and these materials. Unfortunately, it's a really complex answer thatis dependent on lots of variables: type of printer, type of material,(variable) wall thickness, geometry, reinforcements, surface finish, postprocessing, and end use loading conditions (high impact/high body weight). I'vefitted a few of these sockets, designed and printed with the help of [anexpert], and they are pretty tough so far. The weight could be reduced forsure, but I think this is where design will further be optimized, and varioussurface finishes will be utilized.

 I haven't used the CPX material on a patient, but I have ademo socket and it is super solid and a lot lighterweight. I think this stuffis going to overtake the MJF/SLS printers due to quicker build times(especially with the high flow printers from Filament Innovations), and muchlower material costs. Unfortunately, the printer machines themselves are stillquite spendy for the everyday O&P clinic.

 Another interesting method is to go hybrid... using a lowercost FDM printer to print a flexible inner socket, and then laminate over that.

<URL Redacted> .

I have used multi jet fusion sockets loved them, I usedprosthetic design there fair Coploy, trying a new jet from Ascent fab.
Check out Ascent fabrication in upstate NY:

(multiple responses praised ascent fab)

This is a very large question-

I suggest getting on LinkedIn and connecting with others itis a great way to start learning

(I can forward recommended LinkedIn search names uponrequest)

 (Original Message):

Hello list,

I recently got my hands on a 3D printed prostheticsocket.  It was created using an HPMultijet fusion printer using MJF Nylon 12. Interesting technology but thereare concerns about ultimate socket reliability and corresponding socketweight.  What other materials/printersare people having success with?  Who isout there making 3D printed sockets? Before a decision is made on this technology, it would be great toexplore other examples of 3D printed sockets.






Charles King, “Summary of responses to Printed sockets in the third dimension,” Digital Resource Foundation for Orthotics and Prosthetics, accessed December 2, 2023,