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Project Circleg: recycled plastic prosthetics designed in Kenya

The demand for low cost leg prosthesis is high in Kenya, yet a satisfactory system has been lacking up to now. Project Circleg closes this gap. By using recycled plastic waste and simple production methods the Circleg can be produced locally and cost-effectively. The modular design ensures excellent customisability and its functionality provides the user with great comfort.

The Circleg is a prosthetic leg for above and below knee amputees

It is designed to be fully modular and consists of two adapters, a knee joint, a pilone and a foot with an ankle joint. The adapters enable the individual adjustment to the user. The ankle joint allows a squatting position and thus the use of a squat toilet. The polycentric knee joint is equipped with a protection cap and a mechanism which swings the leg forward while walking in order to prevent dangerous trip hazards. The Circleg prosthesis is made of recycled polypropylene (PP) post-consumer plastic waste.

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Project Circleg recycled plastic prosthetics is evolving from a degree project to a start-up business. They are continuing to further develop the prototype and the system: Refining and testing the prototype will be the next step. As a starting point they will focus on implementation in Kenya.

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It is reinforced with glass fibres to create a composite material that meets the high-performance requirements of a leg prosthesis. All parts are manufactured by injection molding or extrusion, differentiating between standard parts and components individually adapted to the user. Repairability is guaranteed thanks to a modular system.

“This project is directly touching the lives of disabled people in Kenya. We really need it and we very much welcome you.”

Thadius Mogendi, Chairman of the Lake Naivasha Disability Environmental Group

The modular system allows the replacement and repairing of broken parts and obviates the disposal of a whole prosthetic leg, when only a part is damaged. Additionally, the different parts can be produced in various colors offering one’s individual customized prosthetic leg. Thanks to the use of the polypropylene composite material, the Circleg prosthesis only weighs 1.5 kg being a lot lighter than existing low-cost prosthesis and significantly improving comfort.

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You can find more information about Project Circleg and their process on their instagram , facebook and website.

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