There are racing gloves, then there are BMW's new 3D-printed support gloves. The auto company is providing 3D-printed thumb supports to factory workers as an add-on to their workman gloves.
3D printing has proved very useful in the health and medical sectors, where technology has been used to produce custom insoles, a mouthpiece for sleep apnea sufferers and even a replacement skull. Now, BMW has produced custom thumb orthoses for its factory workers to combat strained joints.
The potential for thumb strain was identified in one of BMW's assembly areas, where workers are required to fit rubber plugs into drain holes to seal them during the painting process. In order to do so, they must push the plugs in tightly using their thumbs.
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