A Preliminary Usability Assessment of a 3D Printable Orthosis Design System

  • Michaela Servi
  • Yary VolpeEmail author
  • Francesca Uccheddu
  • Rocco Furferi
  • Lapo Governi
  • Simone Lazzeri
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 850)


The standard treatment for bones fractures entails the use of a tailor-made plaster cast which has several disadvantages: its weight generally causes discomfort, it cannot be taken off without breaking it, it can cause skin rashes and prevents ventilation of the treated area. Therefore, the application of traditional casts to orthopaedics patients does not represent, to date, the best option. To overcome the above-mentioned drawbacks, many strategies based on reverse engineering and additive manufacturing techniques have been proposed and proved to be a valid alternative for producing custom orthoses. Encouraged by the aforementioned results, the authors have developed a low-cost system (called Oplà), specifically dedicated to the hand-wrist-arm district of paediatric patients and capable of creating a 3D CAD model of the orthosis ready to be printed by using additive manufacturing techniques. Such a system comprises a 3D scanner, a control software and a semi-automatic CAD procedure to easily model the orthopaedic device on each patient, without the need of CAD modelling professionals. To evaluate if Oplà can be effectively used by the medical staff to design patient specific 3D printable orthoses in the clinical practice, a preliminary usability assessment has been performed. Five professional nurses from the Meyer Children’s Hospital of Florence (Italy) have been selected and trained in the use of the system. Subsequently, each of them has been asked to perform the whole process for the same patient. Effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction have been measured in accordance to ISO 9241-11. Results proved that the Oplà system is characterized by a good usability allowing the user to easily and intuitively perform all the tasks in a reasonable time.


Usability CAD Reverse engineering Cast modelling 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michaela Servi
    • 1
  • Yary Volpe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Francesca Uccheddu
    • 1
  • Rocco Furferi
    • 1
  • Lapo Governi
    • 1
  • Simone Lazzeri
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Children’s Hospital A. Meyer of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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