3D-Printed, Smart Assistive Technology Can Monitor Device’s Use Without Electricity

Published by , October 12, 2018 5:20 am

(IMECHE) Additive manufacturing is an excellent technology for making assistive technology such as prosthetic limbs or ‘smart’ pill dispensers because it is cheap and easily customizable. Printed plastic parts do not contain electronics, however, meaning health agencies cannot monitor how patients are using them.
Researchers at the University of Washington are developing a circuitless solution that could be 3D-printed on consumer-grade, off-the-shelf printers and enable the device itself to collect information. “We’re interested in making accessible assistive technology with 3D printing, but we have no easy way to know how people are using it,” said Jennifer Mankoff, a professor at the university’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. The research team previously developed the first 3D-printed objects that connect to WiFi without electronics.

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