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Numerical analysis of a transtibial prosthesis socket using 3D-Printed Bio-Based PLA
Vasja Plesec, Jani Humar, Polona Dobnik-Dubrovski, Gregor Harih, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Lower-limb prosthesis design and manufacturing still rely mostly on the workshop process of trial-and-error using expensive unrecyclable composite materials, resulting in time-consuming, material-wasting, and, ultimately, expensive prostheses. Therefore, we investigated the possibility of utilizing Fused Deposition Modeling 3D-printing technology with inexpensive bio-based and bio-degradable Polylactic Acid (PLA) material for prosthesis socket development and manufacturing. The safety and stability of the proposed 3D-printed PLA socket were analyzed using a recently developed generic transtibial numeric model, with boundary conditions of donning and newly developed realistic gait cycle phases of a heel strike and forefoot loading according to ISO 10328. The material properties of the 3D-printed PLA were determined using uniaxial tensile and compression tests on transverse and longitudinal samples. Numerical simulations with all boundary conditions were performed for the 3D-printed PLA and traditional polystyrene check and definitive composite socket. The results showed that the 3D-printed PLA socket withstands the occurring von-Mises stresses of 5.4 MPa and 10.8 MPa under heel strike and push-off gait conditions, respectively. Furthermore, the maximum deformations observed in the 3D-printed PLA socket of 0.74 mm and 2.66 mm were similar to the check socket deformations of 0.67 mm and 2.52 mm during heel strike and push-off, respectively, hence providing the same stability for the amputees. We have shown that an inexpensive, bio-based, and bio-degradable PLA material can be considered for manufacturing the lower-limb prosthesis, resulting in an environmentally friendly and inexpensive solution.
Keywords: 3D printing, bio-based, polylactic acid, PLA, prosthesis, prosthesis socket, numerical model, finite element method
Published in DKUM: 14.03.2024; Views: 105; Downloads: 19
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Computer modelling of the residual limb for the development of prosthetic sockets and liners with the cellular structure : doctoral disertation
Vasja Plesec, 2023, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: The production of lower limb prostheses continues to rely primarily on manual methods, which are outdated and characterized by labour-intensive processes, lengthy time requirements, high costs, and a heavy reliance on the expertise of prosthetists. Achieving a satisfactory fit between the residual limb and socket remains a challenge, often leading to discomfort, pain, and potential wearer tissue damage. However, advancements in computer technology and numerical simulation offer an opportunity to predict stresses and strains experienced by the residual limb during prosthesis usage. This, in turn, aids in the development process by enhancing the design of the prosthetic socket and liner through virtual environments. In this dissertation we developed a generic numerical transtibial model to bridge the gap between clinical practice and numerical simulations. Biomechanically validated, this model generates outcomes applicable to a broader amputee population, facilitating comparative analysis of socket and liner designs and materials under different loading conditions. Furthermore, the dissertation explores the utilization of a 3D-printed socket manufactured through the cost-effective fused filament fabrication process, using polylactic acid filament, aiming to reduce the costs and establish a streamlined production process. The 3D-printed socket was evaluated within the virtual environment using the developed transtibial model. The numerical findings indicate that the 3D-printed socket can effectively withstand the loads encountered during the stages of prosthesis donning, single-leg stance, heel strike, and push-off, thereby presenting a viable alternative to the prevalent composite socket. Additionally, a cellular structure composed of a flexible thermoplastic elastomeric material is proposed as a prosthetic liner to enhance comfort by reducing contact pressure while maintaining the required stability. Numerical results indicate that by manipulating cellular parameters such as unit cell type and relative density of the structure, a customized response can be achieved. This customized response effectively reduces contact pressure for a given scenario without increasing displacement, thereby improving comfort while maintaining stability.
Keywords: lower-limb prosthesis, generic numerical transtibial model, 3D-printed socket, cellular structure liner, finite element method
Published in DKUM: 14.11.2023; Views: 522; Downloads: 29
.pdf Full text (3,64 MB)

Development, fabrication and mechanical characterisation of auxetic bicycle handlebar grip
Nejc Novak, Vasja Plesec, Gregor Harih, Andrej Cupar, Jasmin Kaljun, Matej Vesenjak, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The auxetic cellular structures are one of the most promising metamaterials for vibration damping and crash absorption applications. Therefore, their use in the bicycle handlebar grip was studied in this work. A preliminary computational design study was performed using various auxetic and non-auxetic geometries under four load cases, which can typically appear. The most representative geometries were then selected and fabricated using additive manufacturing. These geometries were then experimentally tested to validate the discrete and homogenised computational models. The homogenised computational model was then used to analyse the biomechanical behaviour of the handlebar grip. It was observed that handle grip made from auxetic cellular metamaterials reduce the high contact pressures, provide similar stability and hereby improve the handlebar ergonomics.
Keywords: auxetic cellular structures, computational simulations, experimental testing
Published in DKUM: 23.05.2023; Views: 297; Downloads: 37
.pdf Full text (2,63 MB)

Numerična simulacija trka pri pristanku letala z možnostjo navpičnega vzletanja in pristajanja : magistrsko delo
Vasja Plesec, 2019, master's thesis

Abstract: V magistrski nalogi so predstavljena priporočila za snovanje varnega letala odpornega na vertikalni trk. Sestavo letala smo razdelili na tri glavne komponente namenjene absorpciji energije v primeru vertikalnega trka: sedež, struktura trupa in podvozje. Za vsak del posebej je bila izvedena eksplicitna časovno odvisna numerična simulacija v programskem paketu Abaqus/Explicit. Iz dobljenih rezultatov smo med seboj primerjali pospeške, ki delujejo na telo potnika ter sile in pomike strukturnih delov, iz katerih se vidi količina absorbirane energije. Na koncu smo izvedli še računalniško simulacijo sestave generičnega letala, ki je vsebovalo vse zgoraj naštete komponente.
Keywords: vertikalni trk letala, eksplicitne numerične simulacije, absorpcija energije, metoda končnih elementov, deformacijska struktura
Published in DKUM: 06.05.2019; Views: 1340; Downloads: 151
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Dimenzioniranje robotskega prijemala za zlaganje baterijskih celic
Vasja Plesec, 2015, undergraduate thesis

Abstract: Dandanes si le s težavo predstavljamo industrijo brez robotov. Uporabljajo se za skoraj vsa opravila. Najkompleksnejši element robota je po navadi prav prijemalo, ki je zadolženo za opravljanje specifične naloge. V diplomski nalogi sem na dejanskem primeru opisal razvoj in nastajanje prijemala za industrijsko robotsko roko. V prvem delu je na kratko predstavljeno nekaj o industrijskih robotih ter robotskih prijemalih. V drugem delu pa sem se posvetil razvoju prijemala, od načrtovanja pa vse do razdelave. Opravil sem tudi trdnostne preračune za potrebne dele. Celotni postopek razvoja sem poskušal jasno prikazati tudi s pomočjo slik.
Keywords: robotska celica, robotska roka, robotsko prijemalo, vakuumski prijem, linearni mehanski prijem in baterijska celica.
Published in DKUM: 27.10.2015; Views: 1286; Downloads: 134
.pdf Full text (5,17 MB)

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