Startups iFactory3D and its Austrian partner Feetneeds powered by Plasmics have unveiled a 3D printer for the mass production of orthopedic insoles at the ORTHOPÄDIE SCHUH TECHNIK (OST) trade show. The belt 3D printer is said to make manufacturing more efficient and sustainable.
According to the companies, 3D printing’s layer-by-layer construction makes it ideal for individualized medical products such as insoles. Unlike subtractive milling, less material is lost, they say. In addition, the parts could be produced automatically and without supervision, even at night.
Scanning processes and digital modeling can be used to speed up processes and prepare them directly for 3D printing, according to iFactory3D. Customers such as British podiatrist Akbal Randhawa report significantly shorter delivery times than with external labs.
The printer’s plug-and-play principle is also said to simplify production. Complex settings and material research are eliminated. According to the startups, there is a great need for such end-to-end solutions in orthopedics.