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atrc, assistive, technology, resource, center, graduate, thesis, orthosis, arm, upper, rehabilitation, extremity


In the United States, more than 18 million people suffer from upper extremity injury. This population is in need of a device both to aid in the completion of activities of daily living (eating and grooming), as well as to provide daily muscular therapy. To assist persons suffering from disabling upper extremity neuromuscular diseases, this thesis concerned the redesign of a powered arm brace from a proof-of-concept design to a more functional, marketable product. The principles of Design for Manufacturability and Assembly (DFMA) were employed as part of the design methodology to create a product that could be scaled into production. Additionally, numerical analyses including Finite Element Analysis (FEA) were completed to prove the both the safety and structural integrity of the orthosis in computer simulations. The design was then successfully tested with marked improvement over the previous design, including a 58% reduction in weight, decreased manufacturing costs, and a significant improvement in functionality and comfort.



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