New Protective Covers for Prosthetics with 3D Printing
“You Can Even Run a Marathon with This!”
When Julius Rautio was 7 years old, Materflow created a 3D printed protective cover for the athletic boy’s prosthetic leg. Now, the boy has grown taller, and his prosthetic leg needed a larger protective cover. This time, the cover was also made of plastic using Materflow’s 3D printing expertise. Julius’s father, Samu Rautio, was responsible for modeling the cover. The stylish young man had one absolute requirement for the cover: it must have his name on it!
Julius has been missing the lower part of his left leg below the knee since birth. He has used about a dozen prosthetics so far, as they need to be replaced at least once a year during growth.
When Julius announced that he would stop using his ugly-looking prosthetic, the family had to consider other options. The boy had a clear vision of the model he wanted. Could it be achieved with 3D printing? Eventually, Vesa Viljanen modeled the cover, which was 3D printed by Materflow. Julius was delighted with the result. The cover, which resembled a soccer player’s shin guard, suited the boy’s active lifestyle well.
“I thought, why not learn to model the covers myself? The idea quickly evolved into something more, my own business. This summer, Julius received a fully customizable protective cover, modeled as our own production. For example, the color of the rear cover is easily replaceable,” describes entrepreneur Rautio.
The new protective cover was carefully modeled by Julius’s father according to the boy’s wishes. The black front cover features the boy’s name in the desired font, and the white rear cover has a star pattern. The good-looking prosthetic was also used recently in the Helsinki Mini Marathon.
A DESIRE TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST
Samu Rautio designs covers and other individual products within his own company. There is a demand for personalized products, as there are approximately 80,000 prosthetic users in Finland alone.
“Previously, prosthetic covers were made of skin-colored foam, which could not withstand water, for example. The cover had to be replaced every couple of months. A 3D printed product is something completely different: striking, customizable, and durable. Julius can also go into the water with his prosthetic,” says Rautio.
A JOINT COVER COLLECTION ON THE MARKET
The pioneer of modern protective covers praises the close and long-standing collaboration with Materflow.
“This is teamwork at its finest. Together, we design and develop new types of products that are rarely found in the world. The Materflow team knows the technical possibilities of 3D printing, while I bring the user’s perspective and creativity to the product. The result is high-quality work. We are soon launching a stunning protective cover collection on the market, with all products representing Materflow’s reliable 3D printing expertise,” says Rautio.
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