An elbow brace made with 3D printing and laser-cutting

Designed by Nils Sorger and WertelOberfell, the +/- Brace is a user-centered, fully customisable elbow brace, produced by combining 3D printing and laser-cutting technology.

The brace relieves elbow pain, promotes comfort and reduces risk of injury and irritation during demanding physical tasks or sport activities. It is made using additive 3D printing and subtractive laser-cutting, two technologies which make easy customisation and on-demand manufacturing possible. The techniques also allow for complex shapes and structures that would be difficult with conventional manufacturing methods.

For the brace, a four-way stretch softshell fabric was chosen, composed of 49% polyester, 30% polyamide, 12% polyurethane, and 9% elastane, weighing 380 g/m2. A range of FDM-printed pads were developed and iterated, utilizing TPU filament with a shore hardness of 98A. Using a TPMS Gyroid gradient structure as an infill, the final product has characteristics of materials like foam or gel.

The brace is customized through an app, which takes the user’s data and measurements to calculate a personilased brace.The user could then either fabricate the brace on their own, order it within the maker community, or proceed with buying the brace on the platform.

Photos: Jana Gautier