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All types of Cad-Cam programs available to design foot orthotics.

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Arthur.Clarke, May 22, 2011.

  1. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    I would like to discuss the various types of Cad Cam programs built to design insoles only and other programs which are not.
    Insole-only Cad Cam programs have become widely used to fabricate a pair of custom orthoses, though a lot have limitations to the user.

    However there are also programs which are not built to design insoles but can be used for custom orthotic design and fabrication purposes.
    What are the Cad Cam programs which could be used to design insole?

    Arthur Clarke
  2. In theory, any 3D CAD software could be employed to design foot orthoses. The trick is in knowing how to use the software.
  3. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    There are a number of software programs which are used and can be used to aid development of custom made devices.
    Programs by Delcam such as PowerShape etc have the capability of creating any device possible and there are other types of software very similar to these which I would like to explore using this forum.
  4. Yes, we know. There are also programs such as Solidworks, Rhinoceros etc which can and are used to aid development of custom made devices. I'm also sure open source programs like Art of Illusion can be used too. You may need to be more specific in your enquiry if you seek some assistance, since at the moment you come across as someone trying (badly) to do an infomercial for Delcam.
  5. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    I have no affiliation with Delcam whatsoever.
    I am trying to gather as much information as I can to see which non-insole-specific Cad Cam program could be possibly used.
    I understand that Delcam have the PowerShape etc which is being used by several companies in the UK for orthotic fabrication and the results are fantastic. Thus I would like to explore what other software could possibly compete with this.
  6. Lab Guy

    Lab Guy Well-Known Member

    I purchased the system by Oretek.com which I discovered on Podiatry Arena. Great software and support which is all free as you pay a royalty of 2 dollars a pair or 1 dollar for positives. The 3D laser scanner and computer with software is only $1300.

  7. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    Hi Steven,

    I am not trying to gather information for orthotic software but for Cad Cam software not in relation to orthotics.
  8. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Arthur, you may need to be more specific with the question as to what you are after and want to know,

    Any CAD/CAM software can be used to design foot orthotics if you can get over the learning curve.

    A number of companies have software that interfaces with the CAD/CAM to make the learning curve easier - ie Delcam, SharpShape, Oretek, PediCad, etc - but they primarily used at the orthotic lab or central fabrication level. A number of labs have their own proprietry version of software or interface.

    Then there are several systems primailry for use at the clinical level and direct milling of devices - ie Amfit, Orthema, etc
  9. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    I understand that there a number of Cad programs available but which are/would be suited to insole fabrication?
    Yes I understand, like with anything it takes time to learn to achieve what you want.
    What company/program is regarded as a leader in this field?
  10. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I don't think any one of them have yet emerged as a "market leader"
  11. It's less about the software and more about the skill of the people using it.
  12. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    Yes with anything it is all dependent on the user and how experienced he/she is, for sure.

    What are the names of the software that I could classify in the non-insole-specific category?

    I know of Delcam's PowerShape & CopyCad, Rhinoceros and Solidworks.

  13. Google came up with this Review of Soft wear does that help ?

  14. Kursh Mohammed

    Kursh Mohammed Active Member

    Maybe Phil Wells would like comment on this?

    I am aware of Copycad, Powershape and Powermill from Delcam.
    I haven't used this software but I understand from Phil's great presentation at the Orthotic Forum at the Bath Uni last week he was using these programs.

  15. Chris Lawrie

    Chris Lawrie Member

    To balance this discussion...Simon is correct, many core CAD solutions are suitable for orthotics design (so long as they support free-form surface design). If you go to www.develop3d.com you can surf for CAD solutions and get a full picture.
    Craig P is also correct, core CAD is powerful in the hands of a CAD literate user, but CAD 'skinned' with a UI carrying a degree of Podiatry domain knowledge and workflow, is ideal for the majority of Practitioners wordwide.
    Ref Phil Wells, he is a great example of a Podiatrist / Lab Manager who has vaste experience in using CADCAM and other manufacturing technology. We (Delcam) find Phil's knowledge and experience invaluable (no, I do not get anything for bigging up Phil). By the way, did you see Phil's speaker profile picture at Bath event...i think he aspires to be in TV.
  16. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    Hello Chris,
    Ta for the link.
    I’m quite interested to know more about the core CADCAM products you provide? I understand they are Powershape, Copycad and Powermill from one of the posts above.
    How would these systems integrate/work to design and mill orthotics?
  17. You may also want to explore the cost of these.
  18. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    Hi Simon, I have to agree but I can leave that for another day. I want to open discussion to understand as much as I can the capabilities of a pure core CADCAM product within the foot orthoses field.
    As you are aware there are products that are closed-systems which I am not interested in as they offer very much the same across the board and allow minimal control to the overall design.

    If it can do what it says on the tin then, it is just sensible to look into this option thoroughly and carefully! Afterall I aint stupid but know little about CAD products and computer engineering.

    I think once I pay so much there is no option but to learn it all day and every day!

    Ta mate!
  19. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    Chris your involvement in this discussion will be greatly appreciated!

  20. Good luck, but it's not as easy as you may think. I've been playing with a system for several years now and still haven't truly mastered it.

    Which reminds me of something I've been meaning to talk to Phil about for a while...
  21. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    Thanks Simon.
    What system are you using if you dont mind me asking?
  22. Solidworks and Rhino. I only really play with them though, more of an academic hobby than anything.
  23. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    Thanks Simon!
  24. I also have Art of Illusion which is open source. Although, I confess I have yet to sit down and work with it. One of the projects I want to do or help someone with at some stage is to write a "how to design and manufacture foot orthoses using open source software and hardware book".

    I find my philosophy more aligned with Adrian Bowyer than with the "big boys".
  25. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    If you do go ahead, this would change how orthotic insoles are prescribed and made throughout the industry on a small scale I guess. And the emphasis on labs would be to mill not design.
  26. J.R. Dobbs

    J.R. Dobbs Active Member

    My desire is to do this is more philanthropically orientated than that.
  27. So is mine.
  28. joejared

    joejared Active Member

    The OreTek MicroMill software/hardware package actually makes things other than orthotics. From a different perspective, I chose to make the CNC side of the software smarter instead of depending on antiquated G-Codes, and this chosen path has proven to be successful, at least for myself.

    I use it to make the scanners I sell, the jigs and all associated hardware, not to mention anything else that comes out of this defective brain. The end result has been to eliminate dependency on machine shops and to drop the bottom out of manufacturing expenses for RadScan. Unlike the above mentioned applications, OreTek MicroMill has my own language of machining and has been used to make thousands of parts for this industry. I use Autocad to design my products, and later write a few lines of micromill code to accomplish the manufacturing portion. There are several videos on youtube that show it in action, producing various components. More recently, with Youtube loosening up the limits, I've been able to upload more intricate designs as an example.

    For the systems I've sold, I rarely design the .cnc code files to do much, other than flycutting and perhaps moving the machine to various positions for things like clean-up. deburring of rails, and minor repairs, so that things don't have to come back for repair.
  29. Kursh Mohammed

    Kursh Mohammed Active Member

  30. Kursh Mohammed

    Kursh Mohammed Active Member

  31. joejared

    joejared Active Member

  32. Phil Wells

    Phil Wells Active Member

    Dear all

    Just to add a bit of clarity about CNC software, there is free shareware software out there that will manage orthoses milling extremely easily.
    I have used it and was more than happy.
    The issues come from the hardware and its reliability.
    I think that Joe mentioned milling speeds at 40,000 rpm which is classed as high speed milling in the industry and one of the most prone to failure - i.e. if the tool bends either permanently or temporarily, the un-balancing effect on the motor is huge and will reduce its life span. This is simple mechanical physics and cannot be avoided.

    I have always purchased software and hardware based on the support network offered by the supplier as I need reliability above all else.
    This is especially true of the software when you are earning how to use it and is probably the most important factor.
    Also aim for reverse engineering CAD software rather than solid modelling as it is more intuitive and much faster. It works well with Visual Basics macro integration and is easier to learn.

    Just my '2 penneth'.
  33. joejared

    joejared Active Member

    Speeds higher than about 15K RPM generally will require some form of cooling after the first few plates. The only advantage to higher RPMs is a reduced chipload. For the newer machines I sell, I run them at 18K RPM and the chip collection system acts also as a form of air cooling. For my own prototype system, on rare occasions that I actually do manufacture orthotics, I squirt water on them.

    The carbide tools we use don't really bend, but yea, a bent tool will cause spindle damage.

    One thing I really like about the Techno line of routers is how easily serviceable they are. I have personally rebuilt their carriage bearings and have already worked through the weaknesses their systems have. This learning curve happened in 2009 and since then, I have designed retrofit components to improve even their older system's in terms of performance and tolerance.

    While I don't use their software interface or libraries, from a user standpoint they're generally grateful to have a simpler system that is scalable to production demands.

    The most important software involved in using any cad/cam package is the pink stuff between the auditory receptors.
  34. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    Thank you Phil for the advice,
    Which reverse engineering software would be one to look into?

    How do all 3 software programs you are using work together? Do you need all 3 types?

  35. Arthur.Clarke

    Arthur.Clarke Active Member

    And also Phil which free software are there that you mention?
  36. joejared

    joejared Active Member

  37. Phil Wells

    Phil Wells Active Member


    I use Copycad triangle modeling software - really good but pricey!

    Re the milling software, the one I used is no longer available but if you do a search you will find plenty to try out.
    The best tip re milling is to link up with a local CNC engineer and use him to consult for you - lots cheaper and highly effective.

  38. gaittec

    gaittec Active Member

    Since no one has mentioned FootMill, I will. FootMill would seem to be a natural part of this thread because it is a plug in for Rhino 4.0. All the power and stability of the established Rhino CAD engine is available any time while orthotic specific designing is FootMill's purpose.

    There you have the General purpose CAD you asked about along with fast and flexible orthotic capabilities.
  39. pod04oz

    pod04oz Welcome New Poster

    All types of Open Source Orthotic Design Software available.

    {ADMIN Note: Threads merged}


    I am looking to purchase an open source orthotic design software package that is specifically designed to make custom-made orthotics. I am aware of Delcam's OrthoModel software, but was wondering what other products are currently available?

    I am currently making my own orthotics using traditional plaster techniques and am interested in using CADCAM software to make orthotics on a small scale. I am looking for an open source CADCAM software package that can be used with a CNC milling machine to make foot positives and also direct mill poly and EVA orthotics.

    Any ideas would be much appreciated, Thanks :D
  40. Re: All types of Open Source Orthotic Design Software available.

    I think there might be some confusion on your part. Open source software is generally free, so you shouldn't have to purchase it- that's the point. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software

    Delcam's software is not open-source.

    As far as I am aware, there is no open-source software which has been developed specifically for the desigtn and manufacture of foot orthoses- mores the pity, as I'm certain it would be highly successful. There are however, existing open-source CAD/ CAM systems which, with learning could be applied in the design and manufacture of foot orthoses. But if you are looking to be able to design orthoses quick sharp, and unless you are already skilled in using CAD software, you will probably need to pay a commercial company to use their software, which is generally rather expensive- boo. Google: "open source CAD software"

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