Automation Process of 3D Scan Based Brace Design


Approximately 83,700 children across the United States and 1.7 million children worldwide are affected by cerebral palsy and have limited or no walking ability. [1] Customizable exoskeletons could greatly improve rehabilitation outcomes and quality of life for children suffering from diseases such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida which limit mobility. Currently, it takes an expert 5-6 hours to create a single set of exoskeleton braces from one 3D scan imported into SolidWorks. In this project, we developed a process that enables braces created from a template 3D scan to readjust to another with minimal steps. This is critical as the braces must be modified as children grow. The process of solid modelling typically involves orienting objects, such as the braces, in reference to 3D space. Instead, by defining the braces using global variables and joint references like the hip, knee, and ankle, braces can transfer from the template scan to another scan with automatic size and orientation adjustment. The methodology of brace transfer involves changing the reference surface and joint of the template brace from one scan to another and can be done within minutes. This technique standardizes the design and drastically shortens the time it takes to create custom-fitted braces while reducing human error. Future work would expand the proof of concept to create a complete set of braces that transfers between scans. Applications for this research are not limited to exoskeletons but can be applied to any customizable 3D scan based orthotic/prosthetic. [1]