This is the first in a series of posts on Inside Tamarack that highlight content from our new Tamarack Flexure Joint™ Product Guide. If you’re using Tamarack™ joints in your fabrication of custom lower & upper limb orthoses, we highly recommend downloading the Product Guide from our website. View/download the Tamarack Flexure Joint Product Guide here.
Why Should I Use Molding Dummies During the AFO Fabrication Process?
Over the years, we’ve heard O&P practitioners ask why it’s necessary to use Tamarack Molding Dummies and not just pull the thermoplastic directly over the Flexure Joint™ itself. We’d like to explain why we always recommend using molding dummies when fabricating AFOs and other custom braces with Tamarack™ Joints.
Tamarack Flexure Joint™ molding dummies are used to fabricate AFO’s and other lower & upper limb orthoses using thermoplastic materials. Since the Molding Dummies are useful for 8-10 fabrications*, they are not included with every package of Tamarack Flexure Joints™.
While the Tamarack™ Molding Dummies look to be the same shape/size as the Flexure Joints™ themselves, there are a few subtle differences that affect joint cavity outcome:
- The molding dummy stand-off pads allow the hot thermoplastic to pull in around the Flexure Joint™ for optimal support.
- The stand-off pad also ensures that the Flexure Joint™ and its mounting hardware will be properly recessed for better skin clearance.
- The molding dummies are sized to accommodate the material that is removed when cutting the foot and calf sections apart during AFO fabrication (see diagram below). This is not the case if the Flexure Joints™ themselves are used to fabricate the device.
- If using the Flexure Joint™ itself during the forming process, there is a risk of damaging the joint when prying it out of the cavity or while trimming the device. Using the molding dummies during this process ensures that the Flexure Joints™ are not damaged.
If you have any questions about Tamarack Flexure Joint™ Molding Dummies or other fabrication questions or comments, please contact us!
*Tamarack Molding Dummies are included with every Tamarack Clevisphere™ and Tamarack Variable Assist™ Joint package, since we recommend using the molding dummies just one time for these joints. This is because the molding dummy shape is more complex and requires perfect cavity formation to provide proper joint installation.