German cyclist looks to race with 3D-printed prosthesis in Rio

OLCHING, Germany (Reuters) - German paralympic cyclist Denise Schindler hopes to race with a 3D-printed leg prosthesis in Rio de Janeiro in September.

The rider, who lost the lower part of her leg in an accident when she was two, is promoting the new method of making a sports prosthesis, which advocates say is quicker and cheaper to produce, without the lengthy process of plaster-casting.

Schindler - who is collaborating with U.S. company Autodesk that designs the software behind the 3D printing - demonstrated the project to U.S. president Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at an industry fair in Germany a week ago.

“We are currently testing the 3D-printed prosthesis and whether its quality reaches that of the traditional handmade prosthesis,” she told Reuters.

“It feels different,” she added, while putting one on.

Schindler, who won a silver medal at the 2012 Games in London, is due to compete in the Paralympic Games in Rio which run from Sept. 7 to Sept. 18.

Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Alexander Smith