BCIT Applied Research hosts workshop on 3D printing in assistive technology

Earlier this fall, BCIT Applied Research hosted 3D Printing in Assistive Technology, a two-day workshop focused on the opportunities and challenges of incorporating 3D printing in the fields of prosthetics, orthotics, and assistive devices. With more than 85 clinicians, students, researchers, and industry partners in attendance, the event succeeded in bringing together diverse industry experts to explore the potential of 3D printing in these crucial areas.

The workshop addressed the differing perceptions surrounding 3D printing in the media and among traditional clinical providers. Presenters at the event represented a cross-section of end-users, educators, and individuals involved in bringing the 3D printing technology to market or clinical practices. Through their discussions, they shed light on the challenges they faced, the innovative solutions they found, and the growth opportunities and barriers they anticipate in incorporating 3D printing in assistive technologies, as well as prosthetics and orthotics applications.

Highlights of the workshop included a panel discussion on the applications of 3D printing, led by BCIT MAKE+ Director Jaimie Borisoff. Attendees also participated in an interactive maker activity led by Chad Leaman, Director of Innovation at Neil Squire Society, and were inspired by a presentation from Brad Zdanivsky, an avid rock climber who co-developed technology solutions that allow him to continue his passion for rock climbing after becoming a quadriplegic.

The CARI Lab provided the perfect venue for the workshop and participants had the opportunity to explore the Teck Copper Innovation Hub, a part of the Advanced Additive Manufacturing Technology Hub (AAMTECH) that is dedicated to promoting cutting edge research in the field of 3D printing and bringing innovative new additive manufacturing products to market. Thanks to Pacific Economic Development Canada | Développement économique Canada pour le Pacifique and Teck Resources Limited for making these invaluable resources possible.

Left to right – Kim Dotto, Brittany Pousett, Thanh Duc Nguyen, Jeff Erenstone, Silvia Raschke, Johanne Mattie, Jaimie Borisoff, Chris Hovorka, Urs, Schneider

“This workshop provided a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge sharing among professionals in the prosthetics, orthotics, and assistive device fields,” says Dr. Kim Dotto, Dean Applied Research and Centre for Applied Research and Innovation. “With the help of centres like our Advanced Additive Manufacturing Technology Hub (AAMTECH), BCIT can bridge the existing gaps among clinical professionals, engineers, and technology.”

Kim adds, “As the future of assistive technologies and prosthetics continue to evolve, collaborative discussions and events like this will play a pivotal role in paving the way for innovation and advancement in the field.”

The event would not have been possible without the contributions of the esteemed speakers who shared their insights and experiences. Special thanks to Brittany Pousett, Christopher Hovorka, PhD, CPO, FAAOP, Urs Schneider, Jeff Erenstone, Jaimie Borisoff, Adam Thomas Clare, Kelly Knights, EIT, Chad Leaman, Johanne Mattie, Silvia Raschke, Mona Alkhudair, Thanh Duc Nguyen and Brad Zdanivsky.

Thank you to the amazing researchers and staff at the Centre for Applied Research and Innovation for their hard work in putting this event together – Soka Wong, Shadi Sabeti, MSc., Fardin Barekat, Ajay Reddy Nalla, Rohan Korsch-Sharma, Tony Rukavina, and Rory Dougall.


AAMTECH is a centre for Advanced Additive Manufacturing Technology that provides research and development services for 3D printing of advanced composites, metals, engineering thermoplastics, and food. The goal of AAMTECH is to enhance the knowledge and prototyping capabilities of students, faculty, and industry partners to assist industry in bringing innovative new additive manufacturing products to market. AAMTECH includes two labs, the Teck Copper Innovation Hub and the Food Research for Safety and Health (FRESH) Lab, which are dedicated to promoting cutting-edge research in the field of 3D printing, with specialized 3D printers that boast high capabilities.

About MAKE+

MAKE+ is a multidisciplinary research group focused on product development, applied research, and education. The MAKE+ subgroup Product and Process Applied Research Team (PART) is the only academic product development group in Canada registered to the ISO 13485 Quality Management System for medical device manufacturers. For more information, please contact Antoinette Jackson.

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