Jack Lesniewski, University of Iowa, needed an accurate model of Julian Rimm, Colorado State University Masters of Biomedical Science student, leg. Rimm, age 22, was diagnosed with Periosteal-osteosarcoma, bone cancer of the distal fibula, in 2009. “I underwent chemotherapy and surgery to resect the tumor,” Rimm said. After the initial surgery to remove distal part of fibula with bone tumor, Rimm experienced complications and had to have partial foot amputation. “This has impaired ankle stability and plantar flexion of my right foot,” Rimm said. After years of walking on his amputated foot, the anatomy rearranged. Marc Tatum, a friend of Rimm and part of a team at the University of Iowa, decided to design an orthotic for Rimm as his senior project with a goal of restoring full function to Rimm’s right foot and ankle.
The lab at University of Iowa reached out to the Idea2Product lab for help to create their custom-made shoe orthotic. David Kimmey, I2P staff member, consulted with Lesniewski to see what process might work best for their team. After meeting with Kimmey it was decided to scan the foot. Nik Radaev, I2P staff member, scanned Julian’s foot with the Sense 3D scanner. The Sense 3D scanner is fast, easy, portable and practical for any 3D scanning situation. “To be able to get a 360 degree scan of the foot, we sat a chair on a table for Julian to sit on so he could elevate his leg,” Radaev explained. “Then we converted it into STL format which is recognized for 3D printing, and emailed it to their lab. It is cool that we can do things on scene and then email them the data.”
“The model [from I2P] has been integral for their project,” Rimm explained. By having the scan from I2P of Rimm’s foot, the team at the University of Iowa was able to create an accurate ankle brace and a custom base plate. The base plate is a strong and flexible fiberglass used for support and flex during gait. The mold is custom fit to the 3D scanned foot and was tested virtually before manufacturing it. There are still a few more steps in this project but the Idea2Product lab is grateful to play a 3D roll in such a complex project.