While I was shopping for some materials for Shea's hand, I figured I should go ahead and print her and Myla's scans so they can take it to school to show their friends. I spent quite a bit of time looking at thermoplastics or orthoplastics yesterday since we'll be using these on Shea's first hand. I am enthralled with this plastic and actually think that it would be cool to experiment with it more. We could potentially mill patterns into it with the CNC router.mill before we mold it to Shea. I believe there is a lot of potential with this material. The fact that we can get a tight fit to Shea with this material makes me think that this material will allow us to make sure that we do not create something that rubs or aggravates her skin. Adream found patterned versions of the thermoplastic, but unfortunately they have a limited graphic selection. That said, I ordered a bunch of cool colors for Shea to choose from. I also ordered filament that she can select from. I ordered some white plastic, some protective sleeves, some chord material, cable material, etc. I also ordered more material for Adream and I to use with the class we will be teaching. Today, I downloaded a brochure from Rolyan; a manufacturer of the thermoplastic. It seems there are a couple companies that make this stuff and then all of the medical supply companies sell the same products. I have to say that the medical catalog and sites leave a lot to be desired in terms of usability and convenience for ordering. I ordered the stuff from amazon to make life easier. The medical catalogs all use the same images for materials as well, so it's a little confusing to know exactly what you're getting. It seems the medical field could use a little design help. Regardless, I sourced the needed materials. Once things come in, we'll be prepared to make Shea's first hand.
Today I worked on going through some info on fitting the splint material in a proper way. I'll try to put some of my finding together in a future post. It's funny how close this stuff is to my training in Metals and Sculpture. I love it when knowledge jumps across the boundaries of areas of study. It makes you realize everything is connected.