ZPC blog

Nausea Bracelets Merge Medical Devices with 3D Printed Wearables

The idea of printing out something you can wear isn’t all that new. 3D printing has been tackling the wearables space for quite some time, especially in the form of jewelry. However, what is new is the potential for a marriage between a wearable item like a bracelet with a medical function. That’s precisely what Decomed Design has accomplished with their AkuFeel anti-nausea bracelets. 

For some context, Decomed Design got its start in November 2012 as a collaboration between an engineer, a designer, a web designer, and a physician. That’s quite a team! And their main goal? To create products that celebrated form and function. Basically, medical devices don’t have to be ugly!

And an essential element in achieving this goal was the usage of 3D printing technology. 3D printing offers many benefits, to paraphrase the Swedish company’s own words:

  • to create customized designs
  • to adopt “Just-In-Time” (JIT) production
  • to create “Leagile” or lean and agile supply chains

The last item on that list is actually really important because it emphasizes a company’s ability to adjust to market demand as needed. So, if demand for the AkuFeel is really high, they can ramp up production to meet that need. If demand decreases, they won’t have a huge stock gathering dust. In short, the company can create more product as it’s needed, when it’s needed. This cuts down on storage costs, too.

And while the production standpoint on all of this is fascinating, you’re probably wondering what the AkuFeel bracelets actually do, right?

The AkuFeel is an anti-nausea bracelet that is designed to be stylish and functional. The fact that it’s made using 3D printing is just an added bonus! These bracelets work by providing pressure to an acupressure point on the inside of the wrist that is associated with providing relief of nausea symptoms. There are many uses for this, as nausea can be caused by many different conditions. From pregnancy to the flu to motion sickness to  medication side effects, nausea can plague people for many reasons and seriously inhibit your quality of life.

Decomed Design hopes to relieve this symptom in a simple, unobtrusive way. Better yet, they hope to provide this medical benefit while offering a stylish accessory you can feel proud to wear. It’s available in several different colors, so you can easily coordinate it with your outfits as well.

By doing this, the company is also hoping to draw attention to 3D printing as a practical technology, not just something to do for the novelty factor. They see real benefit in this tech and are doing everything within their power to harness it. You see, Decomed views 3D printing as something that can be utilized for end-use products on a regular basis, not just for expensive, highly specialized, or customized parts for the high-tech or luxury markets.

The bracelets are made from polyamide and produced using the laser sintering process.   Form and function are tied together here very well and to prove the company has truly thought of everything, they’ve given wearers the option to remove the acupressure ball so they can just wear it as a normal bracelet when nausea isn’t a problem.

By honing in on a medical device with a multipurpose angle, the company is likely to do well in both revenue and getting the word out about the practicality of 3D printing. The focus is on the frivolous too much of the time with 3D printing, so this is a welcome change for those like us who are passionate about this industry.

There are 48 pre-selected color combinations you can choose from or you can opt to add more colors and designs as well. The AkuFeel can be totally personalized on a mass scale--just another perk of additive manufacturing.