Reverse Engineered Prosthetic Limbs Using Einscan Scanners


Reverse engineering is one of the most common applications for 3D scanning and printing.

We are now at the point where we can even reverse engineering parts of the human body. This is possible because 3D scanners capture organic and inorganic shapes alike; they expedite CAD design and are the ideal tool for prosthetics development. 3D scanners have also opened the door to previously unrealized degrees of customization in prosthetic solutions. The fit and form of a good prosthetic makes it more comfortable and consequently, more useful to the wearer and an aesthetically accurate prosthetic limb increases confidence.

High degrees of accuracy and customization are more accessible than ever before with the EinScan Pro and Pro 2X line of handheld 3D scanners and the SHINING 3D industrial 3D printers. The handheld capability of the scanners allows them to scan even car-size objects with ease. The EinScan Pro 2X Plus can scan a human leg in a matter of seconds and the captured scan data can be processed, customized, and 3D printed faster than has ever been possible.

Below is an example of how easy the process can be.

  • The process begins by taking a 3D scan of a patient’s current prosthetic leg, which can take a matter of seconds using the EinScan Pro+ Handheld Rapid Scan mode.

  • A separate scan of the patient’s other leg is taken as a reference. This gives us an accurate representation of the overall size and form of the patient’s leg.

    • Note that the goal is to make the prosthetic shell as close to the natural leg as possible. The collected scan data is accurate enough to allow for the creation of a customized prosthetic shell.

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  • Once the data is captured and the scan completed, the file is exported directly into Geomagic Essentials.

    • 3D System’s Geomagic Essentials is the ideal bridge for 3D scan to design solutions. Working with organic shapes in CAD environments can prove to be a difficult task for even very skilled CAD designers, but the tools provided in Essentials allow your scans to seamlessly transition into your native CAD platform.

  • First, the scan data from the prosthetic is imported into Essentials where the data can be processed and cleaned up.

    • Coordinates are assigned onto the 3D mode, making it easier to reverse engineer. The contours and overall shape and geometry of the piece are extracted and defined using the available tools.

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  • Second, the scan data from the patient’s leg is imported into Essentials.

    • The process is repeated, and the 3D model is prepared for reverse engineering.

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  • Once both sets of data are properly aligned and processed, they are exported into Solid Edge SHINING 3D Edition.

    • Solid Edge is a professional CAD software that allows for the reverse engineering of 3D scans. The software allows both scans to be imported directly. The prosthetic is used as the mechanical part of the CAD model while the scan of the leg is used as the reference for the shell around the prosthetic. The design and shape of the shell is customized using the scan from the patient’s leg.

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  • Once the shell overall design is complete the Generative Design function of the software is used to finalize the design given the parameters of the 2 parts.

  • The result is a completely functional prosthetic shell that accounts for the patient’s weight and the forces that are applied when running, walking, or other physical activities.

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  • The customized 3D model is then saved and printed using SHINING 3D’s EP-P3850 SLS 3D printer.

  • The completed print is then post processed and prepared for the patient. The printed shell fits perfectly onto the patient’s prosthetic leg.

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As you can see, the EinScan Pro line of handheld 3D scanners makes 3D scanning for medical applications more accessible than it has ever been. 

SHINING 3D’s RED Bundle provides everything necessary for complete 3D Scan to Design solutions and industrial grade 3D printers like the EP-P3850 bring to these designs to life with amazing precision.

Customization has never been more accessible.

SHINING 3D brings you the complete 3D Scan-Design- 3D Print solution. For more information on pricing, specifications, or availability please contact your local sales rep at or 800-659-2670.

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