Title: Socket modelling assistant for prosthesis design

Authors: Giorgio Colombo; Giancarlo Facoetti; Stella Gabbiadini; Caterina Rizzi

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Polytechnic of Milan, Via La Masa 1, 20156 Milano, Italy ' COGES Center, University of Bergamo, Viale Marconi 5, 24044 Dalmine (Bg), Italy ' COGES Center, University of Bergamo, Viale Marconi 5, 24044 Dalmine (Bg), Italy ' Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Bergamo, Viale Marconi 5, 24044 Dalmine (Bg), Italy

Abstract: In this paper, we propose a knowledge-based approach to design lower limb prostheses; in particular, we focus on the 3D modelling of the socket, the most critical component. First, the architecture of a dedicated design framework is described, detailing features of the main design steps. Then, the paper discusses the acquisition and formalisation of the knowledge related both to the prosthesis manufacturing process and to the considered component. Finally, we present the computer-aided module, named socket modelling assistant - SMA, we specifically developed to design the socket. It is a virtual laboratory where the socket virtual prototype is generated directly on the digital model of patient's residual limb. It guides and supports the designer during each step in an automatic and/or semi-automatic way applying design rules and procedures. The modelling steps and available interactive tools that emulate orthopaedic technician's operations are described. Results of the experimentation phase are described. At current state of the prototype development, they are encouraging and have permitted to preliminarily validate the proposed approach and envisage future improvements.

Keywords: 3D modelling; socket modelling; lower limb prostheses; knowledge-based design; virtual prototyping; prosthesis design; prosthesis manufacturing; residual limb models; orthopaedics; biomedical engineering; bioengineering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAET.2013.052930

International Journal of Computer Aided Engineering and Technology, 2013 Vol.5 No.2/3, pp.216 - 241

Available online: 29 Mar 2013 *

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