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3D printing feet

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by Boots n all, May 27, 2013.

  1. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member


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    The sales rep from Binary healthcare came out today, my new 3D scanner arrives in a few weeks and he showed me a 3D printed foot...end game is not to print new feet for my clients, as cool as that would be to offer to some of my clients;)

    The end game is to scan the clients foot and print the last to make the shoe on, a bloody big leap forward from the days when l started
     

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  2. TOC

    TOC Member

    Hi David,

    I am an orthotist running a private practice in Melbourne, Australia. I know very (very) little about 3D printing however I understand that it may be possible to print a pair of custom made foot orthotics. Currently our production process doesn't involve CAD/CAM at all, just plaster casting to get negative moulds of the feet, making a positive mould out of it, and then modifying, and vacuum forming the EVA over the top of it before grinding it to shape. Like your profession, very labour intensive, and always looking for a cleaner, safer, faster way of doing things.

    I have many questions as you can imagine:
    1) Are there any companies that make 3d printers that work with EVA?
    2) Once we have a modified positive cast, we obviously want the negative of this to be the orthotic. Is this possible?
    3) What software is available for an application such as this?
    4) How long would it take to print out a pair?
    6) How much would a system like this cost, including the digitiser?

    As you can see, I am only just starting to investigate the feasibility of this technology on my business, however I am excited about the incredible implications that it will have.

    Any light you, or anyone, can shed on this would be fantastic.

    TOC
     
  3. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  4. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    All this information has been given to me via a salesman, remember that, until l see anything, l doubt everything.

    Trust me at this stage l have even more questions on the printer side myself, the scanner is a different story, l have been using for 12 months the demo model, foot unit and l love the result l have been getting with the wooden last produced as a result of the scan.

    l have some doubts about the practicality to use a printer for shoe lasts, as we heat a shoe up to 85 degrees during the manufacturing process, can the material handle this or do we need to/can we change our manufacturing process and not heat the footwear to this level?

    We are only buying the scanner at this stage, l have been using a foot one for the last 12 months, this new one is called a high leg, the digital information will then be sent to a last mill and a wooden last will be produced, we can use the same digital information to have an orthosis produced via a milling system and later if we want to go further to print them.

    l will have access to a large printer in July sometime if all goes well, but first things first, the scanner to mill shoe last, a large investment in time and money.

    If l go down the path of printed last or orthosis there will have to be a clear advantage to make the move.

    What is the advantage of printing an orthosis to milling an orthosis????
     
  5. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    Had some media out today to see the new scanner...l had to borrow the demo model, mine is still rowing its way from Japan...will be Thursday now.

    Thought l would share one of the images, you can clearly see on the screen how far up the leg we can scan with this high leg unit, the detail is incredible.
     
  6. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    Sorry hit the wrong button before adding the pic, a few more pics on my facebook
     

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  7. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    Almost completed a number of material trials for 3D printing lasts.

    To do this we scanned my feet and 3D printed them.

    The printed foot models were subject to solvents, adhesives, heat, pressure, hand tacks and grinding just to see how they responded to the various aspects of shoe production and to better understand their suitability.

    l ended up with a few unused foot models, what to do with the left over foot models- fruit stands of course!
     

    Attached Files:

  8. kegans

    kegans Welcome New Poster

    Hey all,

    I wanted to chime into this post. First off I'm new to the forums so Hi!

    I joined the forum because my company is in active development of a 3D printed orthotic.
    We're doing a staged roll out - and looking for product feedback, beta testers, and early adopters. Sounds like there is some genuine interest here, so that is great! Have posted a separate thread (http://www.podiatry-arena.com/podiatry-forum/showthread.php?t=92423) specifically geared towards feedback but also wanted to address some of the questions I saw above:

    1) Are there any companies that make 3d printers that work with EVA?

    Not in the traditional sense however industrial 3D printers (not consumer grade) can print a wide range of materials and structures which mimic properties of things like EVA. For example - we are using lattice structures to vary material properties across the footbed and transition in a unibody construction from hard to soft and rigid to flexible.

    2) Once we have a modified positive cast, we obviously want the negative of this to be the orthotic. Is this possible?

    Yes you could scan this and or pull measurements off of it to generate a CAD file.

    3) What software is available for an application such as this?

    Yes, we are building it for orthotics but I'm not sure about feet / lasts. It will work with existing methods ie cast, foam box or scan but also with our own scanning technology.

    4) How long would it take to print out a pair?

    Highly dependent on the size of the object. Lasts will take much longer, and be more expensive then orthotics. As a base line - we are offering 3 day turnaround for orthotics.

    Happy to answer any more questions on the 3D printing side, and would love feedback on our product as well!

    Thanks all!

    Kegan
     
  9. JoelWish

    JoelWish Welcome New Poster

    Hi all -

    I also wanted to chime in here. I'm Kegan's business partner and have experience on the 3D printer side of things.

    One of the last posts on this topic was back in 2007 - did the company doing 3D printed lasts ever followup up with a commercialized product? I'm curious how that worked out.

    Joel
     
  10. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    Work in progress...our biggest issue is manipulating the data to form the toe spring, heel pitch and other characteristics of a last without loosing shape and form in other areas.
     
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