Could you imagine feeling pain in your hip every day for over 35 years? Seventy-one-year old Meryl Richards knows this feeling all too well: she has lived with pain in her left hip since it was damaged in a car accident in 1977. She had already undergone six surgeries, which left her hip in an extremely fragile state, and it had gotten to the point that her left leg pushed up through her feeble hip bone, leaving her leg two inches shorter than her right counterpart. She had used crutches and sticks to help her walk for years, and thought she would soon be bound to her wheelchair for the rest of her life.
In October 2008 at 27-years-old, I was just finishing my PhD in biomedical engineering at KU Leuven and was looking for my next step. I had focused much of my doctorate research on patient-specific planning for cranio-maxillofacial surgery and my colleague Frederik was also finishing up his doctorate degree with a focus on patient-specific implants for orthopedics.
What are the latest developments in biomechanics? Every four years, rotating among Europe, Asia and the Americas, engineers and scientists meet at the World Congress of Biomechanics to discuss some of the newest findings in research of the mechanics of all living things: from plants to animals and humans.
What’s the next “step” in 3D Printing? You don’t have to be a 3D Printing fanatic to see that tailored 3D printed products have become more common as the cost has diminished and the software has advanced. This environment has enabled our latest endeavor, RSPrint, which we founded together with RSscan (RS stands for Runner Service). Together, some of us at Materialise have worked with Jempi Wilssens, founder of RSscan, and his colleagues to develop 3D printed insoles, based on dynamic measurement footscans and customized to support your distinct gait.