Heath Dragovitch’s article about 3D-printed prosthesis covers a few weeks ago generated a number of inquiries from readers who wanted to learn more about these accessories. It has been nearly three years since Amplitude‘s last substantial article on this subject, and the market has changed a lot since then. There are more companies to choose from, with a wider price range and a broader spectrum of product types—including upper-limb prosthesis covers.
Since we’re badly overdue for an update, we thought we’d pull something together ASAP for the newsletter, with the possibility of a more heavily researched followup in a future print edition. To compile the list below, we started with input from a few trusted sources (both prosthetists and amputees), added some insights from online amputee support forums, and sprinkled in a dash of Google homework. There may be an option or two we didn’t catch (write us if you spot any), but we’re confident all the biggest players appear on the list below.
Because cost is always a big consideration (especially for first-time buyers), we arranged the products from least to most expensive. Prices from European manufacturers (of which there are several) are listed in both dollars and Euros. Companies for which we couldn’t find reliable pricing information are listed at the bottom.
Born in 2015 and reborn in 2021, this Bulgarian company has the most affordable 3-D printed prosthesis cover we could find. Prices start at around $215 (€199), and covers are available for both BK and AK amputees. The online catalogue lists about 40 different designs; we’re partial to the Calligraphy and Africa options. Arthesis hasn’t updated its social media feeds in more than a year, which makes us wonder if the business has once again been put on hold. But the ordering portals are live. Visit online at arthesiscovers.com.
Founded in 2018 by a former Paralympic swimmer, this much-decorated Welsh company has won a gazillion small-business awards in the UK while zipping to the forefront of the industry. The product list features a broad color palette and a variety of shapes, surfaces and weights, with an easy-to-use ordering interface that lets you customize your purchase. Partnerships with the National Health Service and the UK Armed Forces have fueled brisk growth. Most covers cost about $320 (€299). Shop at their website, limb-art.com.
Alleles was among the earliest competitors in this market, and it remains the largest on North American shores. The Canadian company has won loads of recognition in the US (with approving nods from the White House, Smithsonian Design Museum, and Carnegie Museum) and overseas (Davos World Economic Forum, Musée de l’Homme), while cultivating a global clientele that includes a good number of well-known amputees. You can choose from more than 50 designs, all available in above- and below-knee variations. Prices range from roughly $500 to $700 (US dollars). Get started at alleles.ca.
Another fairly recent entry (est. 2018) into the limb-cover industry, ce:Koon is one of the few firms we’re aware of that offers prosthesis covers for upper-limb as well as lower-limb amputees. The Austrian company’s airiest models tip the scales at less than 9 ounces (250 grams), with a color scheme that favors earth tones (skin tones are also available). ce:Koon also offers a soft, flexible, zip-up prosthesis cover called the U-Flex. Prices start at around $550 (€515) but range much higher. See the whole catalogue in English at cekoon.com/en/shop.
At nearly seven years old, this Swedish firm ranks as one of the oldest purveyors of prosthetic covers. Anatomic offers 30-plus options divided among four distinct collections, and you can customize any model by color; many are available in lightweight/flexible options. The least expensive item in the catalogue is $750 (€695), but most cost upward of $800. Their designs are among the most elegant you can find, hence the premium price. Browse at anatomic-studios.com.
A trendsetter since 2015, this Czech company earned a Gold Award in the prestigious A’ Design Competition a few years back. No other company can match that level of design cachet, and Art4Leg’s products are priced accordingly. Even a plain Jane model costs $800 (€750), and if you add any sizzle or sparkle the bill is likely to approach or exceed $900 (€835). But it might be worth it to you, just for the cool factor. Judge for yourself at art4leg.com.
Try as we might, we couldn’t get pricing information for this iconic brand. The company seems to have closed its San Francisco offices and moved everything over to Seville, and getting English-language information over the phone proved to be beyond our abilities. We checked the website, the print catalogue, social media, yadda yadda . . . . couldn’t get even a hint of pricing info. None of this changes the fact that UNYQ ranks as perhaps the world’s best-recognized manufacturer of prosthesis covers. Try your luck at unyq.com.
We don’t know a whole lot about this French company, a fairly new entry into the market. That’s in part because they don’t have an English-language website; everything we know about them is thanks to Google Translate. It appears that they make custom-made covers based on a scan of your limb. But their ordering interface is intuitive and picture-driven, so you can probably manage to choose the right color and size even if your French is as bad as ours. See for yourself at kedzal.fr.
This South American company has fared well in global design competitions, notching wins from Red Dot, Leon de Cannes, and the International Forum (iF). ID Ethnos’s covers feature the bright, splashy colors you might associate with Brazilian culture, with the option to mix-match multiple hues. We don’t have pricing information, although several sources refer to them as “affordable.” Find them online at www.idethnos.com/en/.