HP Inc. announced an alliance with Go 4-D, a 3D printed medical orthotics industry visionary, to modernize the process used to create custom orthotics.
As part of the alliance, Go 4-D will distribute FitStation powered by HP throughout the North American medical market. HP’s FitStation platform combines 3D foot scanning with dynamic gait analysis to enable orthotic recommendations and 3D printed custom orthotics, prescribed from each person’s unique biomechanics. This will enable Go 4-D to manufacture comfortable, precise, and cost-effective custom orthotics using HP Jet Fusion 3D printing systems.
The North American foot orthotic insoles market is expected to grow to more than 1.7 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, according to a Statista report.
Despite advances in technology and innovative manufacturing methods, custom orthotic manufacturing has not changed much since the 1950’s. The preferred method still in use today by the majority of North American Podiatrists, Pedorthists and Chiropodists is vacuum-forming plastic over a positive of the foot. This decades old subjective manufacturing method, still taught in colleges, takes no dynamic measurements into the design of the device and the materials used through subtractive manufacturing limit the functional capabilities.
The FitStation platform uses specialized hardware and software components to capture an individual’s unique 3D foot scan, dynamic gait and pressure data. This data is automatically analyzed to provide manufacturing instructions for 3D printed custom foot orthotics.