Engineering analysis and design software
General engineering analysis

Case Study

Optimising reciprocating gait orthoses

RSL Steeper - formerly Hugh Steeper Ltd, design and manufacture a wide range of artificial limbs and walking aids for the physically disabled. They manufacture reciprocating gait orthoses and used LUSAS Analyst to improve upon an existing men's orthosis design, creating a new range of orthoses for use by women, teenagers and children.

Body orthoses allow people disabled from the waist down to walk again. When strapped to the body walking is achieved by a person shifting their body weight from side to side causing a cable arrangement at the rear to swing each leg brace forward in turn. A sitting-down posture can also be obtained by dis-engaging specially designed joints at the hip and knee.

LUSAS was used to optimise the design of individual stainless steel components that are used to form the orthosis. Because it is intended to be worn under clothing the weight and overall size of each component has to be trimmed-down to the minimum required to carry the applied loadings. 

A number of linear static 2D and 3D analyses of tube pinch clamps, hip and knee drive plates and casting designs have all been completed. Automatic and manual meshing techniques were used to optimise the design of each component by removing redundant material and smoothing-out any peak stresses.

The use of orthoses by women and teenagers is considered to be the toughest test of any new orthosis design with these people being the most concerned about their appearance. As Martin Kemp, Senior Design Engineer at Hugh Steeper explains: "As a company we always use the best available technology to give an improved performance to our products. By using LUSAS Analyst to achieve this, we hope to make everyday living easier for all our disabled clients."

 

"As a company we always use the best available technology to give an improved performance to our products. By using LUSAS Analyst to achieve this, we hope to make everyday living easier for all our disabled clients".

Martin Kemp, Senior Design Engineer, Hugh Steeper


 

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