How to improve medical device design for more comfortable, durable prosthetic limbs

The demand for prostheses is increasing, and medical device companies are seeking ways to design these complex and personalized prosthetics. New technology, materials and manufacturing processes enable the development of medical devices that are more affordable, more comfortable and faster to produce.

Trends in the prosthetic industry

Today’s prosthetic devices are increasing in complexity and personalization. To remain competitive, companies must evolve and innovate their products and design processes. Companies are driven to improve their products through cost, comfort, and customization to meet customer needs. Prosthetic device companies that offer highly customized products, such as skin tone, finger lengths, and socket patterns, can drive demand for the companies’ products.

The ability to create a prosthetic device that is uniquely customized for each patient increases the confidence in product outcomes for both the producer and customer. Patients are looking for a few key attributes when it comes to choosing the right prosthetic limb:

  • Comfort – The more comfortable a prosthetic limb is, the more a person will use it.
  • Durability – The cost of replacing new prothesis annually is not affordable.
  • Lightweight – The idea is to create a prosthetic that feels like a real limb.

Using NX to improve design of prostheses

In the past, medical companies were satisfied to perform a few design iterations. However, those times have changed. The future of prosthetic design is here. Today’s tools allow designers to perform hundreds or thousands of design iterations to create the optimal product.

Image of Unlimited Tomorrow using NX to create a prosthetic arm.

NX seamlessly integrates design, simulation and manufacturing into a single platform. The software enables faster innovation and optimization while reducing the costs of the product. NX enables companies to quickly refine models in a single environment for productivity. This platform makes customized product design easier and faster than ever before. Medical device companies can design a new prosthesis that is unique to each amputee.

“NX is the most powerful design software I’ve ever used. The solid models, the assemblies, all of the things that come together in the modeling aspect produce better results. You can see things fit together in a way that you can’t do in other software. You see your finished product before it’s actually a finished product.”

Chad Schwartz – Lead Design Engineer MICRONAIL®, Project Wright Medical Technology

The approach to creating new prosthetics is changing vastly, and improvements can be made by using NX. Readily customizable prosthetic devices are becoming more popular in the medical world, and NX makes it easy to deliver these enhancements.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/medical-devices-pharmaceuticals/2022/02/02/how-to-improve-med-device-design-for-prosthetic-limbs-blog/