SELECTIVE LASER SINTERING TECHNIQUE IN FABRICATION OF CUSTOM-MADE FOOT ORTHOSES: A COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS

JUMANI M.S., SADIQ A SHAH, SHAKEEL SHAIKH

Abstract


Selective laser sintering (SLS) is one of the techniques in group of new manufacturing technologies that have emerged over last 15 years. These techniques works on principle of creating three-dimensional (3D) parts form computer aided design (CAD) information by addition of layer by layer on top of each other. The process is called additive manufacturing (AM). In medical sector application of these techniques are gaining more importance for fabrication of custom-made devices and rehabilitation aids. Foot orthosis is custommade device applied to patients suffering form foot problem, congenital defects and diseases including arthritis and diabetes. This paper presents the findings from the cost and lead-time analysis performed using selective laser sintering technique as an alternative route for fabrication of custom-made foot orthoses. The results showed that selective laser sintering is an economical method for fabrication of foot orthoses. Furthermore, it has also to be underlined that material and machine cost of additive manufacturing techniques in general and SLS specially is still higher in comparison to traditional orthoses fabrication techniques.

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