Hello! My name is Brandon Peel and I am currently in my final year at the University of Guelph studying Biomedical Engineering. I am originally from South Algonquin Park, and have a strong passion for working with prosthetics and orthotics.
A Biomedical Engineering Placement
My work at Boundless involves research and development regarding methods to digitalize the process of producing orthotic devices. This “digital toolchain” involves using a 3D scanner to scan a patients limb of interest, using AutoCAD and various programs to rectify and create a digital orthosis, and lastly, using a 3D printer to produce the final result.
A Strong Research Partnership
In partnership with Boundless, I also do research and development for Nia Technologies at the University of Toronto in designing and creating 3D-printed modular ankle-foot orthoses. Established many years ago now, the partnership between Boundless and Nia Technologies is quite unique because it connects industry directly to clinical practice.
My Next Steps
My next project includes identifying the mechanical properties of material in various 3D-printed orthoses. An important aspect in designing and developing braces is recognizing the mechanics of the materials used. By creating a digital replication of an orthotic device, Finite Element Analysis (FEA) can be used to estimate important properties such as stress distribution, material deformation patterns and bending stiffness. This process can easily distinguish which designs should be produced, saving both time and money.
FEA, Finite Element Analysis allows us to model real-world forces like those patients apply to their braces within a computer simulation. This will help us answer the important questions of whether a 3D printed brace will break, wear out, or work the way it was designed.
Working at Boundless so far has been an absolute pleasure! I am excited to be a part of this community and gain more knowledge about orthotics. With 3D printing gaining attention in the prosthetic and orthotic industry, there is potential to reduce cost and increase efficiency for clinics. I am thrilled to be part of this movement at Boundless, and learn more about the benefits of having a digitalized platform!