Comparison of 3D printed and conventionally produced Ankle-Foot Orthoses in Malaysia

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AFO (Ankle-Foot Orthosis) is a help support, or brace, that encompasses the region over the lower leg down to the foot, and is utilized to treat the issue like foot drop and flat feet. Traditional techniques for fabricating used to make AFOs can take quite a while, which is the reason 3D printing is being utilized all the more frequently to create these.

A group of scientists from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) distributed “A Comparative Analysis between Conventional Manufacturing and Additive Manufacturing of Ankle-Foot Orthosis” that takes a gander at the ongoing examination on 3D printed AFOs, and contrasts ones made with conventional manufacturing (CM) and additive manufacturing (AM), notwithstanding mechanical properties of 3D printed AFOs.

AFOs made with CM ordinarily utilize lightweight, economical thermoformed polymer sheets, as they may be “aesthetically pleasing” and can be effortlessly formed to a patient’s foot/ankle. Regardless of whether it’s made with 3D printing or not, a great AFO ought to be solid and perfectly sized, lightweight, and financially savvy – characteristics that both CM and AM ought to have the option to fulfil.

Various kinds of materials, running from nylon and PLA to PETG and ABS, have been utilized to manufacture AFOs, and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) appear to be the most well-known strategies. FDM dissolves thermoplastic fibres, at that point expels them through a spout to frame shapes, while SLS utilizes a laser beam to sinter powdered polymer materials, and at that point ties them together to make the model.

FDM printers have three phases – pre-processing, production, and post-processing – and with SLS printing, the AFO should be moved to a cleaning station so the abundance powder can be isolated from the 3D printed parts.

There are a few contrasts between making an AFO with CM and making it with AM. The initiative starts with a manual plaster casting, which is folded over the patient’s ankle and detached once solidified; later, this is used to construct a constructive pattern.

The cut line is ground and smoothed, and Velcro or lashes are eventually included. This protracted procedure requires “sensitive hands-on abilities.” 3D printing, in any case, requires an alternate arrangement of aptitudes. Disregard the plaster cast – a 3D scanner can quantify the limb, and CAD/CAM programming makes it simple to alter the AFO with less waste.

The specialists additionally took a gander at the attributes, and mechanical properties, of CM-and AM-delivered AFOs. A modulus and elasticity in 3D printed AFOs are like that of routinely fabricated ones – implying that the first quality of CM-made AFOs isn’t undermined when utilizing AM.

Looking for warping when 3D printing AFOs is required, which is the reason it’s basic to pick the correct materials. Polypropylene (PP) has a composed, semi-crystalline structure, so the material will cool down and set variously, prompting a high distorting rate. In any case, amorphous polymers ABS and PLA have less possibility of shrinkage or twisting due to their “disrupted polymer chains,” and reasonable PLA additionally has extraordinary rigidity.


Results from this analysis show that most ebb and flow examines utilize Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) for AFO fabricating, and the materials utilized are generally thermoplastics, for example, Nylon and Polyamide (PA).

The outcomes additionally show that the rigidity and the Modulus of a 3D-printed AFO could reach as high as 43 MPa and 3.9 GPa, separately. It tends to be presumed that 3D printing gives more extensive open doors in the improvement of AFO because of its adaptability in advancing complex geometries, time and weight investment funds, just as its cost-viability!