How Technology is Transforming Prosthetics and the Lives of Amputees

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In the last decade, innovations in 3D printing, advanced bionics and other technologies have led to marked improvements in the form and function of prosthetics. These days, it's not uncommon to see amputees rock climbing, dancing and showing off custom-designed limbs. We explore the changing field of prosthetics.

The honeycomb grid is designed to be durable enough for its users to play sports, lightweight and easy to clean. Chad Crittenden's prosthetic features a custom tattoo, his name and number from his soccer jersey.

Photo: 3D Systems Corporation



Scott Summit, design director for 3D Systems

Emily Smith Beitiks, assistant director at the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability

Dan Berschinski, chairman of the Amputee Coalition

Ian Stevens, CEO, Touch Bionics, makers of the robotic hand called the iLimb

Michael Goldfarb, professor of mechanical engineering, Vanderbilt University


Deborah Bevilacqua's prosthetic is plated with a lace design made of nickle. The design was created to resemble her personality as well as to replicate the runner's calf.

Photo: 3D Systems Corporation