Kip Williams
Kip Williams
Second Place Winner, Elementary School - 2009 Imagine That! Engineering Innovation
Artificial Ball and Socket Joint

description for Artificial Ball and Socket JointThere are many things this engineering design could be, but the one thing I think that most fits its design is an artificial ball and socket joint for your knee. The engineering used in this design is mostly the engineering of a biomedical engineer. There are many additional engineers that take role in this design, but the biomedical engineer has the biggest role in making it. I am thinking the ball and socket consist of an open frame in the shape of a ball, and inside that ball there is another ball that could be the cushion for the joint so it does not hurt in-between your upper and lower leg. The cushion has to be strong enough to with-stand the weight, but soft enough to comfort the user. The metal outer cage has to be strong and able to bend and then go back to its original position. It can’t buckle or get dented when bending back and forth with the cushion. It has to have restraints that keep it from bending too far and breaking and denting. The openings in this design allow the muscles and tendons to be attached.

While making all of this the engineer has to look at the engineering principles in order to make the ball and socket joint. Some of the principles are: choosing materials that can be put in the joint that the body won’t reject as foreign objects, and making the joint strong enough not to break, but soft enough to give with the movement of the leg. You wouldn’t want the joint to be so strong that the other bones break when it doesn’t give. Some of the three major engineers that take part in this design are the biomedical, mechanical, and chemical engineers. Each one of those engineers has roles to make the design better. The mechanical engineer would look at the structure of the design and how to keep it from breaking and giving too much, also the mechanical engineer has to look at the materials of the design and where to place them in the structure. They would look at the mechanics of the joint, size, and angle of the movements. The chemical engineer would consider what mixtures of chemicals and materials would make a good cushion that is inside the outer cage of the design, so it would not damage the upper and lower leg. The biomedical engineer would look at the skeleton of the leg and design how it would fit, how it would work with the body and continue to exist and perform over time. Finally after hard work of many engineers that take roles in this engineering design, the ball and socket joint design is finished and ready for the user to use and enjoy for a long time.