Comparative study of a topologically optimized lower limb prosthesis

  • Tapan Jansari
  • Ibrahim DeiabEmail author
Original Paper


The need for artificial limbs or prostheses has been on the rise due to army personnel being injured in recent conflicts, an increase in the numbers of senior citizens, and road accidents. Fabrication of artificial limbs is a challenge since the shape and size of each prosthesis is different, and they have complex geometries. Conventional manufacturing processes are not economical when dealing with a customizable prosthesis, so the newer technology of additive manufacturing is considered in this study. To fully exploit the advantages of this process, topology optimization was implemented on the geometry. The subject’s leg was scanned, and the obtained geometry was simplified using ANSYS’ SpaceClaim. The consequent optimization was done in solidThinking Inspire. Two case studies were considered, wherein the geometry was first optimized through conventional topology, and then the resultant geometry was further developed with a lattice. These cases were compared regarding the strength–weight ratio. Fatigue analysis was carried out for both scenarios. Also, the exoskeletal shape of the tibial region of the leg was maintained. Finally, the strength of the resultant prosthesis was validated through a compressive testing experiment.


Additive manufacturing Topology optimization Lattice Prosthesis 



The authors would like to express gratitude to Mr. Fred Rayner of Applied Biomechanics for sharing his knowledge regarding prosthetics, and for providing the required 3D scanning equipment. The authors would also like to thank Mr. Felix Radisch of solidThinking Inspire for sharing meticulous details of the software employed. The authors would also like to thank the financial support from NSERC and OCE.


  1. 1.
    Siva Rama Krishna, L., Mahesh, N., Sateesh, N.: Topology optimization using solid isotropic material with penalization technique for additive manufacturing. Mater. Today Proc. 4(2), 1414–1422 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rozvany, G.I.N.: A critical review of established methods of structural topology optimization. Struct. Multidiscipl. Optim. 37, 217–237 (2009)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sundararajan, V.G.: Topology optimization for additive manufacturing of customized meso-structures using homogenization and parametric smoothing functions, p. 174 (2010)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    solidThinking Inspire: Accessed 4 Apr 2018
  5. 5.
    Dong, G., Wijaya, G., Tang, Y., Zhao, Y.F.: Optimizing process parameters of fused deposition modeling by Taguchi method for the fabrication of lattice structures. Addit. Manuf. 19, 62–72 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Tang, Y., Zhao Y.F.: Lattice-skin structures design with orientation optimization. In: Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, pp. 1378–1393 (2015)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Maskery, I. et al.: The BCC unit cell for latticed SLM parts ; mechanical properties as a function of cell size. In: Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, pp. 688–701 (2014)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Panesar, A., Abdi, M., Hickman, D., Ashcroft, I.: Strategies for functionally graded lattice structures derived using topology optimisation for additive manufacturing. Addit. Manuf. 19, 81–94 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Robbins, J., Owen, S.J., Clark, B.W., Voth, T.E.: An efficient and scalable approach for generating topologically optimized cellular structures for additive manufacturing. Addit. Manuf. 12, 296–304 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Walton, D., Moztarzadeh, H.: Design and development of an additive manufactured component by topology optimisation. Procedia CIRP 60, 205–210 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Larsson, R.: Methodology for topology and shape optimization: application to a rear lower control arm (2016)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Clausen, A., Aage, N., Sigmund, O.: Exploiting additive manufacturing infill in topology optimization for improved buckling load. Engineering 2(2), 250–257 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Primo, T., Calabrese, M., Del Prete, A., Anglani, A.: Additive manufacturing integration with topology optimization methodology for innovative product design. Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 93(1–4), 467–479 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Chen, R.K., Jin, Y., Wensman, J., Shih, A.: Additive manufacturing of custom orthoses and prostheses-a review. Addit. Manuf. 12, 77–89 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Canfit 3D CAD Prosthetic and Orthotic design software: Accessed 20 Mar 2018
  16. 16.
    ANSYS SpaceClaim: Accessed 20 Jan 2018
  17. 17.
    Iso: ISO 10328: Prosthetics—Structural testing of lower- limb prostheses—Requirements and test methods, vol. 3 (2006)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    The world’s fattest countries: how do you compare? – Telegraph: Accessed 4 Feb 2018
  19. 19.
    Shigley, R.G., Mischke, J.E., Budynas, C.R.: Mechanical Engineering Design, 7th edn, p. 163. McGraw-Hill, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sigmund, O., Petersson, J.: Numerical instabilities in topology optimization: a survey on procedures dealing with checkerboards, mesh-dependencies and local minima. Struct. Optim. 16(1), 68–75 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
  22. 22.
    Pruitt, L.: Fatigue testing and behavior of plastics. Mech. Test. Eval. 8(c), 758–767 (2000)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cain, J.: Stepping up to health: using a pedometer for amputee fitness. inMotion 17(4), 40–42 ( 2007)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Roche, J.J.: The Mathematics of Measurement: A Critical History. Athlone Press, London (1998)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zhang, P., Liu, J., To, A.C.: Role of anisotropic properties on topology optimization of additive manufactured load bearing structures. Scr. Mater. 135, 148–152 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Advanced Manufacturing Lab, School of EngineeringUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

Personalised recommendations