A group of experts from Morriston Hospital, Cardiff Metropolitan University, and Swansea University has suggested a technique of additive manufacturing highly-customizable light head braces for users of wheelchairs.
The researchers marked their design versus a well-known commercially accessible head brace in a fight of mechanical muscle experimenting and the outcomes show the value of additive manufacturing for specific accessories.
Many of the wheelchair users view their seating requirements achieved by much of the off-the-shelf cushions for backrest and headrests. For a little percentage, nevertheless, a more bespoke selection may be needed.
Those that have further unique shapes will need highly custom forming to offer usability and comfort. In the event of headrests and postural head braces matching the neck curve is needed to avoid overextension, fatigue, and muscle stiffness. Keeping this in mind, the Welsh experts 3D scanned the head of a volunteer and created templates STL to lay their work about.
For the modeling of a head brace they utilized Autodesk Fusion 360 as this would offer left-sided lateral aid as well as preventing ear touch.
Slots were created in the print to permit the brace to interface with UK level wheelchair bracketry. Also, the experts utilized a Markforged Mark Two 3D printer to make 3 identical nylon head braces and matched them with ball connections.
The nylon 3D printed pieces were experimented against a commercially accessible Type-G, with the strength attributes already known, head aid in two styles. The initial saw a posterior force is exerted to the internal rear surface of the 3D printed head braces. The consequent included using lateral force to the inside surface of the left parallel back arm, close to the ear.
The experts noted the force and dislocation of the packing pad each 0.5s. The highest force attained prior to the fracture in the posterior force trial was 3188N, with the greatest dislocation of 71.7mm.
After damage inspection, it is resolved that the point of failure was in the aluminum trunk of the ball joints, not in the 3D printed head braces. The nylon AM piece had no lasting plastic deformation and no clefts evident, suggesting the UK levels bracketry would run out before the additive manufactured head brace would.