Northwell Health, The New York-based healthcare provider has been created for a veteran of the US Marine Corps. The latter has a prosthetic leg printed in 3D. Called “The Fin“, this prosthesis allows amputees like Dan Lasko (the prosthesis’beneficiary) to walk and swim.
Thanks to the increasing development of 3D printed prosthesis manufacturing techniques, the loss of a limb is less and less perceived as the end of an active life.
High-quality 3D printed prostheses allow more and more people to walk, run and generally enjoy all the benefits that come with two legs.
Despite the fact that it could have been a benefit to a great number of people, The Fin has only been designed for the 33-year-old Marine veteran Dan Lasko, whose leg was amputated below the knee in 2004. His vehicle then just hit an explosive device in Afghanistan. Lasko, an accomplished athlete, did not let his amputation put an end to his passion for sport.
He continued to walk and participate in sport activities. However, if it was still impossible for him to swim, the new 3D printed device is now attached to a standard prosthesis, which allows him today to enter and exit the water without exchanging prostheses.
The Fin is printed on a nylon 3D printer named Markforged. It is reinforced with carbon fiber, which provides it both flexibility and strength.
The Fin greatly improves my life quality and allows me to return to my love for swimming, he said. I recently returned to the pool with my two young sons and for the first time I was able to dive in the pool with them.
Northwell Health is now looking for commercializing the 3D printed prosthesis, which could cost between $ 2,000 and $ 5,000. “For amputees passionate for swimming, no device really allowed them to swim, said Thomas Thornton, senior vice president of Northwell Ventures. We did something that did not exist before and solved a specific problem in a spectacular way.