Interview: Mr. Sean Boatright, Certified Prosthetist at Diablo Prosthetics and Orthotics

Sean Boatright is a Certified Prosthetist, practicing in the East Bay.  He studied prosthetics at Cal State Dominguez Hills and has been working in the field of Orthotics and Prosthetics since 2006.  He has been with Diablo Prosthetics & Orthotics in Walnut Creek, CA for the past 6 years. Had one of the first patients to walk on an entirely 3D printed prosthesis and continues to utilize the technology to better provide for his patients.





Mr. Boatright will be speaking at the San Francisco event!

Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing? What was that experience like? What were you thinking at that moment?

Sean: My first encounter with 3D printing, which was actually two events that happened almost simultaneously, was around 2014.  The first of the two happened as I came across a movie on Netflix called “Print the Legend.” Very shortly after I was introduced to Jeff Huber, CEO of Standard Cyborg.  Both had immediately opened my eyes to the capabilities of this technology.

Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey in 3D printing (bio-fabrication/bio-printing)?

Sean: My excitement of how I could apply this technology into my field inspired me to get more involved in 3D printing.

Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D printing ? This can be a mentor, a patient, a celebrity, anyone basically. You can name more than one as well.

Sean: I was most inspired by Jeff Huber of Standard Cyborg.  His passion not only for the technology but how he approached the application of 3D printing to help the amputee population was very impressive.

Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?

Sean: Having a positive influence on my patients’ lives and being able to help them along their journey to attaining their goals.

Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions?

Sean: Each patient of mine presents with a very unique situation.  There is never one solution that works for everyone so my job is to understand what certain obstacles may be and why they are happening.  Then create a plan to rectify the problem and enhance how the patient’s prosthesis or orthosis functions/fits for them.

Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing/bio-printing? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?

Sean: The biggest challenge has been getting other practitioners that have been in the field longer than myself, to actually learn this technology and put it into practice.  Also, issues with material strength and cost-effectiveness are a common theme.

Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advice you heard should they ignore?

Sean: I still feel very fortunate to have begun my career in O&P at a time where hand casting and plaster modifications were the only methods of fabricating prostheses and orthoses.  My advice would be to students would be to not completely discount those hand skills. Dedicate some time to learn and put into practice those skills. For me having that experience has enhanced my ability to translate the core principles of socket design from a plaster model to a computer screen.

Jenny: If you could have a giant billboard to promote a message to millions and even billions of people in our community (i.e. healthcare 3D printing and bio-fabrication), what message would that be?

Sean: We have things to do.  It’s time to get up and do them.

Jenny: What were/was the best/worst investment you made in 3D printing/bio-printing/bio-fabrication?

Sean: Committing the time to learn and now continue to use the scanning and modeling software has been the best investment for me as a practitioner.

I can’t say I have made any bad investments so far.  I will say that we, as a company, had looked into purchasing 3D printers for our offices and if we did that a few years ago I don’t think that would have been the best decision at the time.

Jenny: What do you enjoy in your spare time? What are you passionate about outside of your work/3d printing?

Sean: I enjoy traveling and spending quality time with my wife.  I also compete professionally in BBQ competitions throughout the year.

Jenny: What is your favorite quote? Why?

Sean: “Progress is not achieved by luck or accident, but by working on yourself daily.”

Jenny: What does the word “3DHEALS” mean to you? =)

Sean: 3DHEALS to me represents passionate individuals who want to make a significant impact in the medical field and patients’ lives.