The first commercially available 3D printed orthotics are to be launched this week. The Australian company 3D Orthotics has been working on a 3D printing project for 12 months and has now found a way to improve the development process of orthotics, using 3D scanning, computer processing as well as 3D printing.
The reason why 3D Orthotics started the project is that they saw patient’s having problems with feeling uncomfortable with their orthotics. They never really seemed to match the foot perfectly. With 3D printing added to the game, they found a new, more accurate way to create perfectly matching orthotics.
“We can scan a patient’s foot within 5 seconds, Wesley McCombe, the man behind 3D Orthotics, says. “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.”
The company claims these orthotics can be used for a variety of purposes, such as ultra-accurate diabetic supports and pain-relief from arthritis. McCombe explains: “As an example of interesting markets for this product, in Asia alone the rate of diabetes is climbing which leads to circulation and foot related conditions. Podiatry and orthotics are one of the key medical devices to help manage these conditions. Amazingly Podiatry is almost non-existent in Asia.”
A launch party will be thrown on January 30th this month.