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What are your thoughts on Prosthetics as a 3d business?

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    What are your thoughts on Prosthetics as a 3d business?

    I am just in the 3d business research stage. I planned on focusing on 54mm & 70mm historical figures & also custom print jobs & cosplay items and costumes. My wife thinks I need to focus on "real" business ideas and not hobbies. So, being a disabled vet I thought "What about prosthetics?" Just the little research so far shows it's a huge industry with the big boys of medical devices and pharma are jumping in or already in. Then I read that the government is about to start regulating, or at least, start having requirements and guidelines and insurance requirements. That scares me. I just want to run a business from home, sell on ebay and several other sites, and not be bothered by legal and all that stuff. Thoughts?

    #2
    Your wife has a good point. The market is saturated with would-be service bureaus; it's a race to the bottom. See 3dhubs.com to get an idea of the competition you'd face there. The market for figurines is small and well-supplied. Not sure about the cosplay thing, but I suspect there are nearly as many makers as players involved in it.

    But a prosthetic is not something you can just buy online from a random seller; it needs to be custom-fitted if not entirely custom-made. That's why I'm not sure that Ebay is the place for selling them; it seems to me you'd be better off concentrating on a local market and working your contacts in the veteran community. There's a lot that modern 3D scanning, printing, and CNC fabrication can bring to the process which has been slow to be adopted by mainstream firms who prefer to do things the way they always have; hence an opportunity for small, nimble tech-savvy players in the market.

    Prosthetics are classified as "medical devices" which are still much more lightly regulated than anything else in the medical field with the exception of nutritional supplements. No doubt more regulations and requirements are in the pipeline, but this might be the perfect time to jump in.

    Andrew Werby
    computersculpture.com

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      #3
      I have done a lot of work re 3d prosthetic limbs, from purpose built scanners & bespoke printers to do a 48hr turnaround from scanning the individual for fitting, to delivering the working limb casing & surround.
      I'm happy to assist you, re the legalities, problems & issues faced.... also the simple way into it to legally bypass all the litigation & legal stuff.....

      To do this with any degree of success, the 1st thing you will need to do is be able to achieve LARGE ABS prints.... as in 60cm tall x 20cm dia minimum.... this will require a HUGE XY or Delta printer NOT an i3 type machine. You will also need to develop some reasonable 3d CAD skills, and have some sort of industrial scanner available too, a library of limb joints in CAD & a machine cabable & fast enough to push out something the size of a bread bin in under 4 hrs - & nothing like this exists other than the scanner & printer machines I build for my customers... but this does not stop you getting started.

      I think it was you I sent a PM several months ago & got no response to a similar offer.
      Look fwd to hearing from you this time around.

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        #4

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