Research & Development

We don’t just design solutions. We research, test, and evaluate them.

Clinical Study Of 3D PrintAbility

In 2017, we undertook a comprehensive study of 3D PrintAbility to evaluate it for:


  • Appropriateness – Ensuring it’s an appropriate tool for orthopaedic professionals in local settings.
  • Robustness – Validating that it produces devices that are biomechanically robust and compliant with recognized standards.
  • Suitability – Ensuring it produces devices that have the strength, durability, fit, and comfort suitable for active children and youth.


The evaluation involved studies at four locations across three countries: Cambodia, Tanzania, and Uganda. In total, approximately 140 children were fitted with 3D printed devices, including 70 transtibial prosthetics and 70 ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs).


The results showed that devices fabricated using 3D PrintAbility are comparable to those made using traditional methods.

Video: Nia’s 3D printed transtibial prosthetic device undergoing 1 million steps using robotic fatigue testing (Courtesy of Mobilab Dynamic Testing) (0:19)

1 Million Steps Achieved Through Robotic Fatigue Testing

Lower limb transtibial devices fabricated using 3D PrintAbility have been demonstrated to meet ISO 10328:2006 Prosthetics — Structural testing of lower-limb prostheses — Requirements and test methods.


ISO 10328:2006 specifies procedures for static and cyclic strength tests on lower limb prostheses where compound loadings are produced by the application of a single test force. The compound loads in the test sample relate to the peak values of the components of loading, which normally occur at different instants during the stance phase of walking.


To meet this standard, our 3D printed prosthetic device completed 1 million steps during a robotic fatigue test. This was a significant achievement, validating the durability and quality of our technology.

Comprehensive Equipment & Material Testing

We’re constantly working to further improve and validate our technologies. This includes conducting extensive equipment and material testing at the University of Toronto with skilled researchers.


For instance, we’re currently studying how to improve our devices so they can withstand moisture. We’re testing a variety of materials, print material driers, and material desiccators.

Video: Nia’s Matt Ratto explaining how material testing is conducted at the University of Toronto’s Critical Making Lab. (1:40)