German cyclist looks to race with 3D-printed prosthesis in Rio

  • TECH
  • Friday, 06 May 2016

German paralympic cycling athlete Denise Schindler poses with her bicycle and her different artifical legs in Olching near Munich, Germany, May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

OLCHING, Germany: German paralympic cyclist Denise Schindler hopes to race with a 3D-printed leg prosthesis in Rio de Janeiro in September. 

The rider, who lost the lower part of her leg in an accident when she was two, is promoting the new method of making a sports prosthesis, which advocates say is quicker and cheaper to produce, without the lengthy process of plaster-casting. 

Schindler – who is collaborating with US company Autodesk that designs the software behind the 3D printing – demonstrated the project to US president Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at an industry fair in Germany a week ago.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) holds a custom-fit leg prosthese as she and US President Barack Obama (C) chat with German Para-cycling world champion Denise Schindler at the Autodesk booth as they tour the Hanover industrial Fair at the fairground in Hanover, on April 25, 2016. USA is partner country of the industrial fair Hannover Messe 2016 running from April 25 to April 29, 2016.  / AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN
Merkel (left) holding a custom-fit leg prostheses as she and Obama chat with Schindler at the Autodesk booth at the Hanover industrial Fair at the fairground in Hanover. — AFP

"We are currently testing the 3D-printed prosthesis and whether its quality reaches that of the traditional handmade prosthesis," she told Reuters. 

"It feels different," she added, while putting one on. 

Schindler, who won a silver medal at the 2012 Games in London, is due to compete in the Paralympic Games in Rio which run from Sept 7 to Sept 18. — Reuters

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