About a year ago we were approached by Dr. Lionel T. Dean from FutureFactories Studio to collaborate on one of his projects that involved creating a walk-able artwork in the form of a titanium prosthetic leg. We collaborate on a regular basis and thus Lionel knew we could help as this is one of the fields we work in on a regular basis and could quickly connect to the right people to make this a reality.
Lionel handled the design while we helped on a few of the smaller elements, we approached Heinrich Grimsehl, a Prosthetist Orthotist from the ARC. (Amputation Rehabilitation Circle) at the Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, who would be instrumental in helping with recruiting our amputee model Louisa Brown, and also helped with the mechanics of the leg, making sure everything is medically sound. Altair helped by providing software analysis regarding the strength of the design and The Center for Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing (CRPM) at the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein, offered their services in the manufacturing of the Titanium components for the leg using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) to produce the 2 Titanium parts. The parts were welded together by the team from the CSIR National Laser Center (NLC) in Pretoria, and then the CRPM’s guys machined the components to make sure all the fittings fit, with a little bit of extra help from the guys at the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP) at the VUT Southern Gauteng Science & Technology Park (VUTSGSTP) to finish it off. The final assembly was done at the ARC. by Heinrich and his team so we could do the fittings and tests with Louisa.
This was all in preparation for the Rapid Prototyping Association of Sout Africa (RAPDASA) 2017 conference that transpired last week from 8-10 Nov 2017, the leg was on display at the expo on our stand while Louisa walked with it during Lionel’s presentations.
Watch the Video below explaining the process …
From Left to Right: Philip van der Walt, Lionel T. Dean, Louisa Brown, Chilly Dread, Gerrie Booysen (CRPM)
We would like to thank all the sponsors for their time and effort they put into making this project a success!
Photographs were taken by Alechea van As at the event