Natasha Hope-Simpson

Natasha Hope-Simpson helped design a prosthetic made with a 3D printer. (CBC)

When Natasha Hope-Simpson got her first look at the 3D-printed prosthetic leg she designed, she says it was even better than she imagined.

The 24-year-old was the victim of a hit and run in Wolfville in November that left her pinned between two cars. She lost one leg below the knee and was in hospital for five weeks.

Her original prosthetic leg was functional but didn't look good. The NSCAD University student was then put in touch with Truro-based Thinking Robot Studios about designing a new, better looking leg. 

"I’ve always loved art and creating things that are beautiful," says Hope-Simpson. "I guess thinking about a body part that is being made for me shouldn't be any different."

As an artist it was an opportunity she could not pass up.

“I do wish for a more feminine looking leg because there are a lot of aspects in the mechanics of a prosthetic that don't speak the language of femininity," she said.

"If there was something I could do to make it look and feel like the rest of my body that would be great."

The first thing to do was scan her good leg.

"We had a very limited time, roughly seven days, to produce this design which normally takes months to produce," says Kendall Joudrie of Thinking Robot Studios. 

Along with partner Jourdan Dakov, they made the necessary adjustments so the leg would be comfortable and functional.

"The panels on it perfectly mirror her symmetry. They are completely removable and module. In the future, now that we have her shape, she can apply any type of creative element onto those panels and we can reprint them," Joudrie said.

Hope-Simpson says she plans to keep researching and designing with Thinking Robot Studios.

"Everybody should have a say in what sort of look their prosthetic has because its a part of their body," she said