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Additively manufactured textiles and parametric modelling by generative algorithms in orthopaedic applications


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to implement a new process aimed at the design and production of orthopaedic devices fully manufacturable by additive manufacturing (AM). In this context, the use of generative algorithms for parametric modelling of additively manufactured textiles (AMTs) also has been investigated, and new modelling solutions have been proposed. Design/methodology/approach: A new method for the design of customised elbow orthoses has been implemented. In particular, to better customise the elbow orthosis, a generative algorithm for parametric modelling and creation of a flexible structure, typical of an AMT, has been developed. Findings: To test the developed modelling algorithm, a case study based on the design and production of an elbow orthosis made by selective laser sintering was investigated. The obtained results have demonstrated that the implemented algorithm overcomes many drawbacks typical of the traditional CAD modelling approaches. The parametric CAD model of the orthosis obtained through the new approach is characterised by a flexible structure with no deformations or mismatches and has been effectively used to produce the prototype through AM technologies. Originality/value: The obtained results present innovative elements of originality in the CAD modelling sector, which can contribute to solving problems related to modelling for AM in different application fields.