3D printing could help those with cerebral palsy, like Nik

Matej Vlašič's son Nik has cerebral palsy and was told that he may never be able to sit up by himself , let alone run and dance. Nik would need ankle foot orthoses (AFO) to help condition his weakened joints. 

AFO's can take several months to be made, can cost more than $1,000 and aren't necessarily that comfortable to wear. What's more children may need several of these to account for their growth and to make sure they get the right fit. These factors drove Vlašič  to find a better solution.

He turned to 3D printing. Half a year of research later, with 13 prototypes done, Nik finally had orthoses that gave him the support he needed that fit into his normal pair of shoes. The result of this was Nik walking within a few days and a few months later he was even dancing!

Vlašič used the Form 2 SLA 3D printer to make the orthoses. Using 3D printing rather than conventional manufacturing techniques has meant that a pair of orthoses can cost less than $15.

Vlašič has formed a company aNImaKe, to help more families like his own. Check Vlašič's and Nik's story below:

Source: Industry Week


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