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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 159159, 8 pages
Research Article

Interdisciplinary Approach to Tool-Handle Design Based on Medical Imaging

1Laboratory for Intelligent CAD Systems, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maribor, Smetanova Ulica 17, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
2Department of Traumatology, University Medical Centre Maribor, Ljubljanska Ulica 5, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
3Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor, Slomškov trg 15, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia

Received 22 April 2013; Revised 2 August 2013; Accepted 23 August 2013

Academic Editor: Gunnar B. Andersson

Copyright © 2013 G. Harih and A. Čretnik. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Products are becoming increasingly complex; therefore, designers are faced with a challenging task to incorporate new functionality, higher performance, and optimal shape design. Traditional user-centered design techniques such as designing with anthropometric data do not incorporate enough subject data to design products with optimal shape for best fit to the target population. To overcome these limitations, we present an interdisciplinary approach with medical imaging. The use of this approach is being presented on the development of an optimal sized and shaped tool handle where the hand is imaged using magnetic resonance imaging machine. The obtained images of the hand are reconstructed and imported into computer-aided design software, where optimal shape of the handle is obtained with Boolean operations. Methods can be used to develop fully customized products with optimal shape to provide best fit to the target population. This increases subjective comfort rating, performance and can prevent acute and cumulative trauma disorders. Provided methods are especially suited for products where high stresses and exceptional performance is expected (high performance tools, professional sports, and military equipment, etc.). With the use of these interdisciplinary methods, the value of the product is increased, which also increases the competitiveness of the product on the market.