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Japanese Artist Creates Artistic and Gorgeous 3D Printed Limbs

The development of new prosthetics has advanced in the last few years thanks to the technology of 3D printing. However 3D printing is also an innovative tool for medicine as well as for artists. In Japan XSENSE has taken art and medicine one step further by creating a new 3D printed prosthetics that are both practical and artistic at the same time. Japanese artist collaboration XSENSE has created the first prosthetics that bring technology and art together.

Artist Yoshinori Sakamaki is the designer for the project and paints or draws traditional Japanese scenes. Afterwards, manufacturing artist Taketo Kobayashi gives Sakamaki art shape and purpose in 3D. The two man team is trying to redefine Japanese sub-culture, art in their latest project called “More than Human”. The two men are focusing on producing artistic prosthetic limbs that will capture the soul and the identity of the user. They believe that turning the negative of using a limb into a positive expression through art; people can overcome the nativities from losing a body part.

Today, many practical 3D printed prosthetics already exist as well as some toy-like prosthetics for children. But the XSENSE team is trying to develop something beautiful by relying on their interpretation of Japanese sub-culture art. They have already created awe-inspiring alien-like or mecha-like interpretations of prosthetics. However, the project won’t end here. The two men have three more phases for their More Than Human project. 

The next project phase the team takes on will be to produce a prosthetic leg that can attach to the existing prosthetic sockets. They feel this will be easier to produce and more practical because the exterior of any prosthetic limb is safe and quick to produce. The second phase will be to produce haute couture prosthetic limbs. Finally with the help of Ken Endo, an expert of mechanical feet, they are hoping to add the final step to this project and work with Endo to add the mechanical feet to their 3D design. 

However, 3D printing is a crucial part of this project because of the many geometrical and unique shapes involved in creating artistic prosthetics. XSENSE's desire is to create a prosthetic limb that will strengthen and reveal the identity of the person wearing the limb, but also be a tool to fill the loss of the limb. 

The team realizes the importance of creating a limb that is strong enough to hold the weight of the person wearing it and light enough to make it comfortable to wear. Therefore, the team is currently working with Tokyo metropolitan industrial research institute. Furthermore, the team is also working with Stratasys Japan who has allowed them to use their state-of-the-art Object5000 Connex3 3D printer that is so important to create their gorgeous results.

Even though the team’s artistic expression is important to this project, so is the fact they want to give back the confidence, hope, and pride to all amputees worldwide. They are hoping to change the world view on disability itself. Their dream is to make prosthetic limbs more than human, in both artistic and functional viewpoints. Therefore, the team is hoping that disability could, one day, seemingly disappear or even turn into an ability instead of a disability.

Image: Sensepeace Xsense

Ann Johnston

About Ann Johnston

Ann enjoys writing, reading, gardening, fishing and the great outdoors. Her job has allowed her to travel and live in different countries. She enjoys studying and learning about different cultures.

Ann Johnston

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