Thermoplastic usually performs at least a few of these requirements well. However sheets of the plastic lack holes for ventilation. The other problem is, for Bangkok-based Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health (QSNICH), reliable thermoplastic suppliers offer sheets that are very expensive, perhaps 4,000-5,000 THB (115-140 USD) a piece and might make between 5-10 splints each.
We started by tracing a volunteer's hand and 2/3 of their forearm on a piece of paper. We scanned it and imported the image into SketchUp.
The baseline price of the plastic used in the splint is only about 40 THB or about 1 USD. If QSNICH had their own in-hospital makerspace, they could print these out in approximately 3 hours each (or less since our volunteer was an adult, and children-sized splints would be smaller), keep small, medium, and large templates on hand, and make 10 times the number of splints for the same price as with their traditional thermoplastic solution.
|Paper mache prototypes developed by hospital staff as a low-cost alternative. Staff realized the limitations of this design, but used the models to give ProgressTH a clear idea of what the final prototype should look like.|
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