Using Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing: Materialise’s Production of GOGOA Lower-Limb Exoskeleton Parts



Sam Davies

9 January 2024



GOGOA, the creator of the HANK lower-limb exoskeleton, utilizes 3D printing technology for prototyping and small-scale production through Materialise.

The firm was introduced to 3D printing through a HP startup program, which subsequently connected GOGOA with Materialise, which has expertise in using Multi Jet Fusion technology in medical applications.

The HANK has been engineered to assist patients recovering from spinal cord injuries, neurodegenerative diseases, or cerebrovascular events like strokes to regain the ability to walk. The exoskeleton promotes neuroplasticity, facilitating brain changes over time, and encourages motor neuron reprogramming by gradually reprogramming the patient’s muscles and neural pathways to respond to lower or distorted electrical signals from the brain to the body’s affected areas.

This process enables patients to gradually regain mobility through repetition and minor modifications in the user’s gait pattern, reducing recovery time. GOGOA harnessed 3D printing technology to help decrease its own production time.

GOGOA is a Spanish start-up specializing in the design and development of exoskeletons aimed at enhancing the quality of life of individuals. The company has distinguished itself by being the first in Europe to acquire CE certification for its Hank exoskeleton, a tool for the rehabilitation of the lower limbs. GOGOA stands firm in its assertion that its robotic technologies for rehabilitation are among the industry’s best and that they are in tune with society’s current needs.

Innovation and rapid prototyping technology have allowed GOGOA to manufacture customized 3D printed plastic parts that integrate seamlessly with the metallic components of the exoskeleton. All this was achieved within a short span of weeks. In their endeavor, they were aided by design veterans from Materialise who provided insightful guidance on enhancing designs for the 3D printing process. They also facilitated GOGOA in handling the documentation needed for ISO 13485 certification. With this certification, GOGOA can look forward to exploring new business avenues and employing HANK in their MOVEX CLINICS and beyond in medical facilities around the globe.

An insight provided by Galder Arego, the Business and Brand Strategist at GOGOA, reflects on their unique position in the market; “As we’re the first European exoskeleton company that’s CE-certified, having a local supplier familiar with the regulation around producing such specialized medical equipment is a real benefit.”

Collaborating the robust duo of Multi Jet Fusion and PA12 material paved GOGOA’s way to achieving rapid prototyping and design iteration. In addition, it allowed for flexibility, an exceptionally lightweight material with superior finishing characteristics, and the implementation of custom small series production.


The result is a custom, lightweight exoskeleton that ‘perfectly’ integrated with a patient’s gait pattern. One that, not only uses 3D printing for almost all of its exterior components and elements inside the battery pack, but was built with additive in mind.

“We modelled the design in 3D and created the prototypes using AM, trying different moulds and redesigns to perfect the skeleton,” commented Galder Arego, Business and Brand Strategist at GOGOA. “3D printing is great for prototyping and small series manufacturing: if we tried the same process with injection moulding, it simply wouldn’t have worked.”

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“HANK is an exoskeleton that truly integrated perfectly with the patient – transferring just the right forced and gait pattern to the user,” added Carlos Fernández, CEO and Founding Partner of GOGOA. “Other exoskeletons are not as accurate at transferring this information. With 3D printing, we achieved a product that significantly affects patient recovery times and positive outcomes.”

Approximately 15 customised parts were 3D printed for HANK, which includes components for the backpack, support for the braces around the foot, ankle, and thigh, and the connectors. The GOGOA team was able to choose from various materials with different mechanical characteristics, which helped to speed up the design and manufacturing process, and is now continuing to experiment as it refines HANK ahead of the development of its HANK+ product.

“HANK+ uses the same basic framework and 3D printed parts – like the grips, connectors, and backpack holds – that HANK uses,” said Fernándex. “Yet we managed to streamline the design, add some external lights to help patients navigate darker environments, and even make it more aesthetically appealing.”

by Sam Davies

9 January 2024


Original source


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