Curbell Plastics Provides Material, Expertise to Students Creating a Prosthesis

The Wilson High School Engineering Design and Development Capstone Prosthetics Team display their prototype. From left, Edwin Morris, Lydia Yenser, Utkarsh Panchal, Akanksha Bhusari, Vikrant Patel, and Ryan Dennes (Instructor). Photograph courtesy of Curbell Plastics.

Curbell Plastics, Orchard Park, New York, recently provided technical expertise and a plastic material donation to students in the Technology and Engineering Program at Wilson High School, West Lawn, Pennsylvania. The group of seniors enrolled in the Wilson Capstone Course, Engineering Design and Development (EDD), were tasked with identifying and solving a problem found throughout society. They decided to develop a transtibial prosthetic leg and foot for people of average activity levels that would address issues of cost and comfort. One challenge was identifying and obtaining the right materials, which needed to be cost effective, be easy to machine, and increase patient comfort.

The students contacted Jeff Wilson, business development manager of orthotics, prosthetics, and podiatry for Curbell Plastics, who donated materials on behalf of the company and worked with the students, via an online training session, to share his expertise regarding the pros and cons of specific materials. Wilson shared his knowledge of the basic properties of plastics and helped the students select materials. The materials used to fabricate the prosthetic foot will provide the students with the opportunity to develop skills in 3D modeling, 3D printing, CAM, and CNC milling and turning.

The students will continue to work on the project through the remainder of the school year and will present their findings at a school-sponsored event in the spring.