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A-footprint devices feature in Science Museum's '3D: Printing the Future' exhibition

21 October 2013

Orthotic devices on display in the London Science Museum's ‘3D: printing the future’ exhibition have been developed and manufactured as part of the EU-funded A-FOOTPRINT project, with GCU researchers working in close conjunction with partners including Peacocks Medical Group and Newcastle University.

A-FOOTPRINT is a joint research and innovation initiative led by Glasgow Caledonian University, with the objective to develop novel ankle/foot and foot orthoses for common disabling conditions which are cost effective, high-speed to market, and personalised for form and function.

Replacement body organs, artworks, aeroplane parts and a music box are  among over 600 3D printed objects on display in 3D: printing the future – a new free exhibition at the Science Museum.

The exhibition opened this month and will run for 9 months.

The increasing availability and decreasing cost of 3D printing technology has led to an explosion of creativity among innovators, from big businesses and the medical industry through to small start-ups, students, hackers and artists.  This exhibition will explore the rapidly evolving field of 3D printing and its growing impact on society. 

Suzy Antoniw, Exhibition Leader, Science Museum said, “3D printing enables engineers and designers to manufacture things they couldn’t make with traditional methods. Every week we learn about new ways in which people from across society are capitalising on the technology to realise their ideas and enrich people’s lives. Our exhibition aims to shine a light on the latest developments and discuss where the technology may take us in future.”

At GCU, the Institute for Applied Health Research's Musculoskeletal Research group includes health professionals, bioengineers, and human movement scientists. The group has a strong profile of external research funding and international collaborators in academia, SMEs and industry.

In the musculoskeletal field we have an overarching theme of understanding the pathways that lead from primary disease mechanisms to impairment and disability across a range of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. This includes inflammatory and degenerative joint and soft-tissue disease across adult and childhood forms of arthritis and regional musculoskeletal pain disorders.

The Science Museum exhibition is supported by Principal Funder EADS, Major Funders Renishaw, the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPRSC) and the Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing Research Group (3DPRG) based at The University of Nottingham.