C.E. Dombroski et al., "A Low Cost 3D Scanning and Printing Tool for Clinical Use in the Casting and Manufacture of Custom Foot Orthoses", in Proc. of 5th Int. Conf. on 3D Body Scanning Technologies, Lugano, Switzerland, 2014, pp. 192-195, doi:10.15221/14.192.
A Low Cost 3D Scanning and Printing Tool for Clinical Use in the Casting and Manufacture of Custom Foot Orthoses
Colin E. Dombroski 1,2, Megan E.R. Balsdon 2, Adam Froats 2
1 Department of Physical Therapy, Western University, London, Canada;
2 SoleScience Inc., London, Canada
Custom foot orthoses are currently recognized as the gold standard for treatment of foot and lower limb pathology. Applications include, but are not limited to: pain relief, increased heel cushion, correction of flexible deformity, increased foot stability and/or prevention of skin breakdowns, such as ulceration. While foam and plaster casting methods are most widely used for the fabrication of custom foot orthoses, technology has emerged, permitting the use of 3D scanning, computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) for fabrication of foot molds and custom foot orthotic components. Adoption of 3D printing, as a form of CAM, requires further investigation for use as a clinical tool. This study provides a preliminary description of a new method to manufacture foot orthoses using a novel 3D scanner and printer and compare gait kinematic outputs from shod and traditional plaster casted orthotics. One participant (male, 25 years) was included with no lower extremity injuries. Foot molds were created from 3D scanning and printing methods, using the Microsoft Kinect scanning device and desktop Makerbot® printer, respectively. Foot molds were also created from the traditional plaster casting method. Custom foot orthoses were then fabricated from each positive foot mold. Lower body plug-in-gait with the Oxford Foot Model (OFM) on the right foot was collected for the 3D printing orthotic, plaster casted orthotic and control (shod) conditions. The medial longitudinal arch (MLA) was measured using an arch height index (AHI) measurement extracted from the OFM outputs, where a decrease in AHI represented a drop in arch height. The lowest AHI was 21.2 mm in the running shoes, followed by 21.4 mm wearing the orthoses made using 3D scanning and printing, with the highest AHI of 22.0 mm while the participant wore the plaster casted orthoses. This preliminary study demonstrated a small increase in AHI with the 3D printing orthotic compared to the shod condition, indicating that the orthotic restricted motion of the MLA during midstance. A larger sample size may demonstrate significant patterns for the tested conditions.
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