Feather: Prosthetic Leg
This project was done in a five person group and my role was the mechanical designer and fabricator.
The Feather was designed to be a customizable transfemoral prosthesis with a single-axis hydraulic return knee joint, carbon fiber attachable plates, and an adjustable dynamic response foot. Compared to other prosthetic legs in the market, the main focus of The Feather was making it light-weight and aesthetically pleasing.
We had a specific case study we were designing for:
A 13 Year old girl that enjoys drama and K3 activities and would also like to engage in social and intimate relationships. Her original prosthetic consisted of a endoskeletal transfemoral prosthesis, polycentric knee, single-axis foot, and flesh colored cover. Her main problems with her original prosthesis was the heavy-weight and the poor aesthetics.
Looking at a greater overall design problem of designing for a growing teenager, we needed to make the leg highly-customizable, easy to produce and make parts for, and durable for daily teenage life.
We came up with several designs before settling on a single design that combined all the best aspects of the others – A carbon fiber prosthesis with a single-axis hydraulic knee and attachable aesthetic plates.
Through research and interviews, the team decided to address the common problems of heavy weight, fashion vs. discretion, identity vs ability, and provocative vs sensitive.
Thus, The Feather was broken down into three main components of the prosthetic leg:
– The Knee Joint
– Customizable Prosthetic Leg Covers
– The Dynamic Energy Foot with the Adjustable Ankle
Which are discussed in-depth below:
The Knee Joint:
A single-axis hydraulic knee joint offers a lightweight and mechanically simple design that has a high potential for modularity and upgrades.
Customizable Prosthetic Covers
The aesthetic plates are made with blue carbon fiber that is both lightweight, flexible, and durable. These can also be easily switched out to suit different situations that users deem fit.
The Dynamic Energy Foot and Adjustable Ankle:
This foot was based on the Freedom Innovation’s Runway Prosthetic Foot, however it was redesigned for more limited and cheaper manufacturing facilities.