German Paralympian turns to 3D printing for Rio 2016

With the Summer Olympics and Paralympics fast approaching, German Paralympic cyclist Denise Schindler has teamed up with AutoDesk to develop a new 3D printed leg.

“My dream is to make better-fitting performance prostheses accessible to all, so I am really excited about the results of this project,” said Schindler in an interview with “Ultimately, the number one most important thing about any prosthesis, and especially a sports prosthesis due to the amount of time spent training and competing in it, is comfort. Being able to develop a well-fitting prosthesis which doesn’t compromise on performance, in less time and for less money than traditional means, is a real break-through.”denise schindler

Previously, Schindler had been using a prosthetic leg made of plaster, which was quite pricey and slower to manufacture. By 3D printing a replacement, Schindler hopes that it will reduce cost, speed up the process and focus more on comfort of the athlete.

To create a prosthetic limb, AutoDesk takes a 3D scan of Schindler’s leg and digitally renders it. The technology is a cloud design tool that allows experts to create a digital model of the prosthesis and collaborate with stakeholders before physically printing it. According to SportTechie, Autodesk predicts that the timeline for printing will eventually take only five days, and cost only a quarter the price of alternative solutions.

Schindler was a silver medalist at the 2012 London Paralympics and is hoping to contend for gold this summer in Brazil.

Jackie Atkins
Jackie Atkins
Jackie Atkins is a competitive alpine skier, student and aspiring writer who primarily contributes stories about the intersection between technology and sports to

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