9 year old Tieshawn in bed holding a 3D scanner

At Exact Metrology, we’re fortunate to work on exciting scanning projects almost every day. No scan has been more rewarding, though, than our recent opportunity to volunteer our skills toward making 9-year-old Tieshawn’s life a little easier.

Tieshawn was born with spina bifida, a defect caused when the spinal cord does not develop correctly in the womb. Despite his condition, Tieshawn loves to be on the move. For him, though, that means walking on his kneecaps, which can cause painful callouses. His family and physical therapist have tried traditional kneepads, but they aren’t designed for Tieshawn’s needs and slip off quickly.

In their search for a better solution, they were connected with May We Help, an organization of skilled volunteers who better the lives of people with special needs. May We Help partnered with Bastech, a rapid-prototyping company, that believed they could create custom kneepads for Tieshawn. Bastech had created similar kneepads for spelunking, but first needed a very accurate understanding of how Tieshawn’s knees moved and were shaped. An accurate 3D scan would be necessary to ensure that his custom kneepads would fit perfectly.

Exact Metrology technician using Artec 3D scanner to capture data on young boy's knee contours

This is when Exact Metrology was brought in. Using our quick and accurate Artec 3D Scanner, we were able to complete all the needed scans of Tieshawn in the comfort of his own bedroom in less than 30 minutes. The Artec captures up to two million points of data a second with 3D point accuracy up to 0.1mm, all in a handheld device that weighs less than 2 lbs. Tieshawn was pretty impressed, and it wasn’t long before he wanted to give 3D scanning a try!

Given their size and speed, Artec 3D scanners are very popular for medical use. Plastic surgery, orthopedics, post-trauma care and dietology are a few of the areas that get great benefits from accurate 3D scanning that produces no magnetic radiation, which could harm patients and medical equipment. Whether they need a 3D image of a single appendage or of the entire human body, Artec 3D scanners can capture the crucial data that medical professionals need.

9 year old boy with spina bifida kneeling on the floor of his bedroom smiling

We look forward to seeing what the team at Bastech are able to create from these 3D scans—and we look forward even more to seeing Tieshawn put his new kneepads into action! Stay tuned for more details.