QL+ Program Manager:
A Preeminent Research University located in the heart of Tampa Bay, the University of South Florida is dedicated to empowering students to maximize their potential for lifelong success.
An Army Veteran was paralyzed after an IED blew him off a cliff. While he was recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he was introduced to handcycling to help him recover from his injuries. He now travels all over the United States competing in races. He will soon be receiving a custom, carbon fiber handcycle from Carbon Bike USA. The Challenge is to design and build a case that he can use to transport his bike while traveling. The case must be durable, easy for our Challenger to use without assistance, and must protect his bike during commercial air travel.
The primary objective of the shower leg prosthetic was to design and develop a unit that provided our user the ability to stand in the shower. Throughout the completion of our project, we focused heavily on his safety and comfort, as well as his desire to have full access to his residual limb. We aimed to implement as many features as possible that catered to the transportability of the prosthetic for his athletic travel demands. Multiple iterations of the prosthetic were created to influence the directional changes needed for the final product. The largest impact came from the engineering prototype, where the bottom design of the seat was drastically redesigned to ensure our final print would be without error. It was also in this iteration that we opted for ASA material instead of ABS, for reasons regarding improved mechanical properties and its resistance to UV, weather, and warping. The testing that took place that directly affected our prints was the tolerance testing in DFX, while motion capture testing confirmed the choice of cane we used. Mechanical testing with ANSYS simulation provided the expected performance of our design under load, and highlighted potential areas of concern. An unexpected issue we faced with the production prototype was with the bottom TPU component between the seat and the cane, where it bent under zero load. Our solution was to solidify this joint by either coating the exterior with epoxy, covering the shaft with a clear tube, or substituting the TPU altogether with a brazed piece of steel. Moving forward with the latter, we were able to remove the risk entirely, while still maintaining the height adjustability and portability of the shower leg.