Last Thursday, an Australian team has launched a product which is able to produce the most accurate orthotics available in the world today. Their 3D Orthotics project is a combination of high accuracy foot scanning technology, 3D printing technology and podiatry with the purpose of speeding up the process of creating othotics.
Today, it’s still difficult to produce highly accurate foot orthotics, and project leader and robotics engineer Wesley McCombe argues such blemishes are due to plaster moulding techniques which can lead to significant frustration for the wearer. He compared the irritation of wrong orthotics to a grain of sand finding its way into a sock. This will all be over if podiatrists would implement 3D scanners to the process of creating foot orthotics, as a combination of 3D scanners and software can provide for a 100 percent accurate orthotic.
A couple of weeks earlier, McCombe explained the velocity of the process. “We can scan a patient’s foot within 5 seconds,” he said. “We process the scan, design the orthotic to a prescription in approximately 5 minutes and make it ready for print complete with labels, textured grip, modifications in another 3 minutes. A heavy portion of this workflow is automated within the cloud environment code we have developed.”
Australian olympian and current pro athlete Mitch Kealy appeared at the launch and was clearly euphoric about the project: “3D Orthotics is an exciting change to the way orthotics are made. I’ve tried all of old methods for fitting orthotics, plaster cast, heat moulded, and none were quite right. The accuracy in fit 3DO offers is a real game changer.”
The company claims these orthotics can be used for a variety of purposes, such as ultra-accurate diabetic supports and pain-relief from arthritis. However, 3D orthotics is still only available at five locations throughout Brisbane, at comparable prices to orthotics currently on the market.
Image/ video credits: 3D Orthotics.