Nonprofit Turns to Autodesk Software to Help Amputees in Developing Nations

Illini Prosthetic Technologies Refines Its Durable and Affordable Prosthetic Arm With Autodesk Inventor Software

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — August 25, 2011Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), has named Illini Prosthetic Technologies (IPT), a nonprofit organization, as the Autodesk Inventor of the Month for August for the company’s use of Autodesk Inventor 3D mechanical design software in developing a more affordable and more easily fitted prosthetic arm for below-elbow amputees, particularly those living in developing nations.

Illini Prosthetic Technologies prepare prosthetic limb prototypes for use in the field. (Photo: Busi ...

Illini Prosthetic Technologies prepare prosthetic limb prototypes for use in the field. (Photo: Business Wire)

There are an estimated 25 million amputees around the world, 80 percent of them in the developing world. IPT’s prosthetic arm represents an opportunity for them to regain the use of their limbs, return to work and better care for themselves and their families.

“We believe that we can live in a world where every amputee has access to affordable prosthetic care,” said Jonathan Naber, president and founder of IPT. “Autodesk Inventor software is helping us make that vision a reality much sooner by enabling us to digitally explore and refine our ideas.”

IPT's innovation uses an open socket technology that allows prostheses to be fitted onto patients “off the shelf” and in a matter of minutes, a welcome change to the more traditional lengthy and costly custom fabrication and fitting process. The device comes in a variety of sizes that are adjustable for length, diameter and contour, thus ensuring the best fit for the largest possible range of below-elbow amputations.

IPT was founded in 2008 by six University of Illinois engineering students who noticed that while a number of low-cost prosthetics options were available for leg amputees, arm prosthetics typically remained prohibitively expensive.

Testing Ideas With Digital Prototyping

By creating digital prototypes of its prosthetic arm with Inventor, IPT has been able to streamline its product design process and create working physical prototypes that successfully incorporate and balance affordability, durability and flexibility — all important factors for users in developing countries.

IPT is currently gathering feedback from actual amputees on the most recent iteration of its prosthetic arm, and team members will be traveling to Guatemala later in the year to conduct further user testing — as well as to see the direct impact their device is having on people’s lives.

“IPT is a terrific example of bright young minds working together to make the world a better place,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “It is thrilling and inspiring to see this group using Digital Prototyping technology to take an innovative idea and turn it into reality — all in service of a great cause.”

About the Autodesk Inventor of the Month Program

Each month, Autodesk selects an Inventor of the Month from the users of Autodesk Inventor software, which takes manufacturers beyond 3D to Digital Prototyping. Winners are chosen for engineering excellence and groundbreaking innovation. For more information about Autodesk Inventor of the Month, contact us at Email Contact.

About Illini Prosthetic Technologies, NFP

Illini Prosthetic Technologies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing simple, innovative and affordable prosthetics to amputees around the world. The organization was originally founded in 2008 by a group of six engineering students at the University of Illinois. For additional information, visit

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries — including the last 16 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects — use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

An interview with Illini Prosthetic Technologies is available on the Autodesk YouTube Channel at

Autodesk, AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor and Inventor are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

© 2011 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

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