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 medical equipment supplier and creator of Podfo orthotics, to maximize 3D printing for large-scale production of custom orthotics. As a 3D printing and advanced manufacturing service providers, Stratasys Direct is giving millions of new patients access to orthotics – offering much needed pain relief and improvements in mobility.
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,” says 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,” says 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,” says Steve Cook, Business Development Director at Podfo.