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This Startup Uses an $800,000 Printer to Make Pretty Prosthetics

Photo via <a href="">Bespoke Innovations</a>
Photo via Bespoke Innovations

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Prosthetics are typically made to be functional, not fashionable. At least, that's what Deborah Bevilacqua discovered after she lost her leg in a motorcycle accident. "It's a big black bulky thing with a big black bulky other thing attached to it, and a big grey metal bulbous ball," she tells KALW. Enter Bespoke Innovations, an SF-based startup that applies 3D printing to create their "Fairings"—covers that surround the prosthetics' metal cores and make for very chic accessories.

According to Bespoke, these Fairings "accurately [recreate] the body form through a process that uses three-dimensional scanning to capture the unique leg shape." There's also an element of individuality to each Fairing. The startup and the customer work together to design each custom piece. One of Bevilacqua's four Fairings has the look of black lace on the front and shiny chrome on the back.

Fairings sure are pretty, but they're not inexpensive. Each one costs $4,000 to $6,000 depending on the materials used. (The cost of the printer itself is $800,000, according to Bespoke's founder Scott Summit.) Perhaps, though, it's just a small price to pay when—in the words of Bevilacqua—wearing one makes you feel "like a superhero."
· 3D printed prosthetics are fashion statements for amputees [KALW]
· Bespoke Innovations [Official Site]
· This Entrepreneur Says She'll Take Down Sephora [Racked SF]