Prosthetic leg shell


I am heading back to school to get my master’s in prosthetics and have been shadowing at a prosthetic clinic in preparation for that. When I got my laser, one of the prosthetists and I joined forces to create designer shells for prosthetic legs to make them look stylish while protecting the hardware. This is the first prototype.

First, I designed the piece and cut it out flat. Unfortunately I had a small issue during pass-through which caused about a 1/2 inch gap in the design.

Next, we made a plaster cast of my shin to use as a forming mold.

Then we heated the plastic plate in the oven and vacuum sealed it to the mold. After it was molded and cooled, I painted the surface with auto paint using a small roller that was only slightly damp with paint. In the future, I will paint the piece while it is still flat because once we formed it to the final shape, the engraved spots opened up slightly making it more difficult to avoid getting paint in the design.

Here is the final result:



What a great use of the GF!


That’s not only a highly worthwhile project , it’s quite beautiful to boot! :grinning:


Wow, quite impressive!


That’s really striking! What type of plastic did you use?


I used a thermo-moldable plastic. Smelled really great while it was in the laser.


That’s awesome. I volunteer with e-NABLE and thermoform PLA for use in light-duty assistive devices, and have been looking for new ways to incorporate the GF into my workflow. I’ve used other lasers to cut leather pads and forms, but those shells are knockouts. :+1:


Oh heck yeah!!


Ooh awesome! That is a great organization! If you do create things with your laser, please share!


I’m speechless! What a wonderful, inspiring project.


That’s amazing! Would that I could give more likes :+1::+1::+1:


Wow, simply amazing! Thanks for this peek into the project.


I thought you may be building a famous lamp there for a second. Bravo!


This is awesome. I love the idea that you could swap out different plates to suit your mood/outfit/occasion/whatever. I’ve seem some really coolly designed and decorated prosethics, but it seems almost like a tattoo-level commitment (in that, you’re going to have it and wear it for years and years). I like that this is more practical, stylish accessory.


This is wonderful. Nothing says things of necessity can’t be beautiful, as well. Great idea!


I am amazed. All I can say is wow.


That’s amazing!! Love the art on that! And…love your matching toenail polish. :wink:


If you dont mind sharing, what is the specific kind of ‘thermo-moldable plastic’ do you mean? I’m interesting in using this for cosplay, I heard Worbla and Terraflex can be lasered and then heated, would that be the same kind of stuff you use?


What a wonderful project.

Assuming you got a Pro. With so many Pro’s out there now, pass though alignment hopefully will get a priority push in development.


Oh my gosh this is so cool! Love your process and what you’re doing with the Glowforge!