In preparation for the meeting tomorrow with Roland, Dave asked me (Doug) to make a prototype. Dave did all of the cutting and I did all of the shaping. The process starts out by putting the cut PVC pieces into the oven at a certain temperature.
The pieces are all so tight together that they have to be melted at the same time and then put inside one another while they are still hot (this step is not shown in the picture). Before it cooled, I needed to get the pieces into the shape desired. It was a hard task as the tops of the pieces were like spaghetti and the bottom was solid as a rock. With a little bit of elbow grease, they finally were in the shape desired.
I have to use a 2-liter bottle in the top to act as a mold. The top pieces are very flimsy when hot and have to be molded quickly or they will cool and I would have to stick the whole leg back in the oven.
Everything worked out great the first time. That doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it is a great night because I can go to bed early!
You can see the four pieces are all touching the floor at the same time. This helps increase the surface area and thus increases the total force that can be applied to the leg.
I hope someday someone will be able to walk with the use of this prosthesis. We have all spent a lot of time on this and it is exciting to see that we are nearing a final product.