Walk This Way: 3D Printing Drives New Advancements in Foot Orthotics
Patients become more independent, increasingly mobile, and highly active with 3D printing
VALENCIA, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — May 1, 2017 — Millions of people worldwide are impacted by debilitating foot pain, making it difficult to accomplish such daily activities as climbing stairs or taking a walk. Enter 3D printing. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing is now collaborating with Peacocks Medical Group, a leading medical equipment supplier and creator of Podfo orthotics, to maximize 3D printing for large-scale production of custom orthotics. As one of the world’s largest 3D printing and advanced manufacturing service providers, Stratasys Direct is giving millions of new patients access to life-changing orthotics – offering much needed pain relief and improvements in mobility.
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The ‘Podfo Ghost’ model pictured above is lightweight and designed for control at the rear foot and comfort and compliance through the midfoot. (Photo: Business Wire)
Foot orthotics is a large and growing market – with analysts estimating the insole segment reaching $3.5 billion by 2020. Conventional manufacturing processes require long lead times and are unable to cost-effectively produce advanced design elements – further creating barriers-to-adoption. Aided by an additive manufacturing technique known as Laser Sintering, the Podfo line fills this void with a comfortable, tough, lightweight and thin orthoses customized to each patient’s prescription and footwear. Advanced 3D printing technology enables creation of complex geometries and includes varying features within a single device – eliminating top-covers, glued-on pads or foams typically accompanying conventional methods.
“Solving tough design challenges and stimulating innovation are hallmarks of our customers’ success,” said Greg Reynolds, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. “Podfo is a perfect example of how millions around the world can now experience life-changing impacts made possible by 3D printing.”
The advanced design freedom enabled by 3D printing ensures Podfo can achieve new levels of customization, creating accurately fitted foot orthotics with individually selected areas of control and flexibility. In Nylon 11, Podfo has a material perfectly suited to meet thin and lightweight functionality requirements. Material durability is tested to millions of cycles – ensuring designs retain optimum effectiveness over years of use.
“In a field like medicine where customization is key, our work with Podfo perfectly exemplifies how 3D printing produces highly specific solutions to improve a patient’s quality of life,” said Scott Rader, General Manager of Medical Solutions at Stratasys. “We’re putting the power of 3D printing to work with Podfo – delivering medical solutions that significantly improve clinical outcomes of the most complex foot ailments.”
“Backed by an unmatched global footprint and ecosystem, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing gives us a virtually unlimited global manufacturing platform fueled by 3D printing. That’s a huge competitive advantage for us,” said Steve Cook, Business Development Director at Podfo.
Stratasys Direct Inc., dba Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, is an indirect subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), the 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing is one of the world’s largest providers of 3D printing and advanced manufacturing services utilizing the latest technologies and decades of experience. With a broad range of additive and conventional manufacturing services, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing assists companies at all stages of product development to bring better products to the market faster. Stratasys Direct Manufacturing has more than 500 employees across six manufacturing facilities in the United States. Online at: www.stratasysdirect.com.
For more than 25 years, Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) has been a defining force and dominant player in 3D printing and additive manufacturing – shaping the way things are made. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Rehovot, Israel, the company empowers customers across a broad range of vertical markets by enabling new paradigms for design and manufacturing. The company’s solutions provide customers with unmatched design freedom and manufacturing flexibility – reducing time-to-market and lowering development costs, while improving designs and communications. Stratasys subsidiaries include MakerBot and Solidscape, and the Stratasys ecosystem includes 3D printers for prototyping and production; a wide range of 3D printing materials; parts on-demand via Stratasys Direct Manufacturing; strategic consulting and professional services; and the Thingiverse and GrabCAD communities with over 2 million 3D printable files for free designs. With more than 2,700 employees and 1,200 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents, Stratasys has received more than 30 technology and leadership awards. Visit us online at: www.stratasys.com orhttp://blog.stratasys.com/, and follow us on LinkedIn.