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Wrist brace for 5th metacarpal fracture

by 3driven, published

Wrist brace for 5th metacarpal fracture by 3driven Jul 24, 2016
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Summary

I needed a replacement wrist brace for my broken hand and this is the result. I used this for approximately 4 weeks. It was slightly problematic to mold this to suit my needs, but I eventually managed to do it to make it comfortable without any added pads.

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Firstly, good job and great idea!

Secondly, I have some doubts. How do you do the hexagonal pattern in de desing geometry? What is the program used to add this hexagonal pattern? It is possible to change hexagonal pattern to a voronoi triangulation pattern?

You can basically design a sheet of hexagonal pattern (design one and do repetitions to form a pattern). I used Google tutorials as a guide. Then you could cut out the excess of the sheet. I modelled the design in Autodesk Inventor Professional.

What is the Material used?Which one is best?

PLA was used, but it's far from optimal for "hot water bath bracing". The material should respond to lower temperatures (50-70°C) better and stay malleable for longer periods of time (at least 10-20 seconds). However, PLA is designed to cool off and harden quite fast for 3D printing purposes - not for malleability. I haven't done research if there are such filaments already available. However I know one a couple of manufacturers that have the right kind of plastic material available as sheets. I wish I could make my own...!

What did your doctor think of it?

The fracture was stable. He approved it since the brace felt good and it was hard to prevent the healing process anyway in this particular case. I used a different wrist brace for the first 2 weeks, but it didn't fit well anymore after the swelling decreased a bit. So anyhow this was better than the one they gave me originally.

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