New design work wins award for hospital team

A team of engineers from Shropshire’s specialist orthopaedic hospital have been recognised with a prestigious, industry award for updating a device to help people with knee problems.

Sam Oliver, Clinical Engineer and Designer, with the device.
Sam Oliver, Clinical Engineer and Designer, with the device.

The Orthotic Research and Locomotor Assessment Unit (ORLAU) at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, in partnership with Ricoh 3D, were announced as the winners of the Healthcare Application Award at a glittering ceremony for the TCT Awards.

Ricoh 3D is a Telford-based business which specialises in 3D printing services and manufacturing solutions, to support taking its clients from design to prototype and then production.

The team won the award for their work to update an old-fashioned knee alignment device which had become expensive to source, repair and replace.

The new device, which is used in the Gait Lab in ORLAU where the walking gait and movement of patients is analysed, was designed specifically through 3D printing and has new and improved features to support performance for both clinicians and patients.

Sam Oliver, Clinical Engineer and Designer at the Oswestry-based hospital, described this project as resetting the clinical mindset to give other NHS hospitals the confidence in 3D printing as the primary method of manufacture.

He said: “Patient care is always our priority, but this improved design is not only more effective, it is cheaper and quicker to manufacture.

“This whole process has really shone a spotlight on the key that 3D printing technologies hold, when unlocking the next generation of innovations.

“We are thrilled to see the project recognised in this way and look forward to continuing our working partnership with the team at Ricoh 3D.”

The TCT Awards aims to celebrate the technology, innovations, and application developments within the 3D printing community.

Mark Dickin, Additive Manufacturing and Moulding Engineering Manager at Ricoh, said: “It’s been great to showcase the fantastic work we’ve done with the ORLAU team, and I am thrilled with the award win.

“Working in partnership with customers like RJAH is producing some incredible technical innovations and our talented team of material specialists and design engineers really are equipped to take on any challenge.

“The versatility and potential of 3D really is limitless, and we are thrilled that we have been able to make a real difference to the lives of patients with our knowledge and skill in this technology.”

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