AkuFeel is one of a growing number of medical end-use products that exploit 3D printing to be sold to the general public at an affordable price outside the 3D print shop paradigm. Decomed Design has created the AkuFeel anti-nausea bracelet, which combines a contemporary design and functionality — it is stylish, effective and 3D printed!
According to Decomed Design, AkuFeel bracelets have a designed product remit to prove that 3D printed end-use products are not only ‘constrained to expensive, highly specialised or customised parts like prostheses, aerospace components or luxurious products made of noble metals’ and are specifically aimed at the relief of a number of causes of nausea, including morning sickness, motion sickness, post-operative sickness and nausea caused by chemotherapy. The method is via acupressure.
All the decorative parts of AkuFeel are made of polyamide and produced in Sweden with one of the most well-established 3D printing production processes: Laser Sintering (LS). Decomed Design decided to add a twist to the anti-nausea bracelets market given the need for more aesthetically appealing bracelets — double functionality — AkuFeel can be used as an anti-nausea bracelet and as a regular bracelet without the acupressure ball.
The current bracelet versions’ portfolio consists of 48 selected combinations, although the total number of possible combinations is much more extensive since one can add extra decorations in different colours and designs. This makes it possible to create a very personalised and unique bracelet
Decomed Design was founded in November 2012 as a partnership between a physician, an engineer, a designer and a web/graphic designer and is currently working on further development of Akufeel and new products. The business idea is to develop products that combine functionality and aesthetics. The company provides insight into why it decided to use 3D printing to produce AkuFeel:
‘3D printing gives many advantages, like the possibility to make customized design solutions or adoption of Just-In-Time (JIT) production and a ‘Leagile’ supply chain (result of combining Lean and Agile supply chains).
Another motivation for the adoption of AM as the main production method was the challenge of demonstrating that the general public could also benefit from a quality, additively manufactured product with industrial grade 3D printers and not only from low-cost domestic ones (RepRap, Makerbot, CubeX, etc.) which, unfortunately, still lack some quality and repeatability in their manufactured parts.
Furthermore, very low stock is required when using AM while responsiveness to what the market demands increases (Agile supply chain). The adoption of AM the as main production technique also can have positive environmental benefits (Lean supply chain) although this aspect is currently being debated. Decomed Design aims at developing functional, aesthetically appealing, mass customised products adopting an agile mindset using the latest available production technologies and materials.”
Is there nothing that 3D printing will not provide a new ways of creating solutions to?