Like 3D printed prosthetics, 3D printed Orthotics has been growing quite quickly within the medical industry. Medical professionals are seeing more benefits when it comes to 3D printing Orthotics for their patients.
Orthotics is the science that deals with the use of specialized devices to support, or supplement weakened or abnormal joints or limbs. Simply put, an orthotic compensates, supports, or corrects a biomechanical deficiency or a postural problem. Which is different from prosthetics that simply replace parts.
For this reason, it is easy to see why something is personal and specific could not simply be mass produced in order to fit every single person. Because each body is unique as is each deficiency. Additionally, these are often not common cases, thus mass production might just cause a large amount of produced orthotics that might be used only once in a lifetime.
So in order to avoid mass producing a product that might not fit every patient perfectly or might simply be used for one patient over a long course of time. It is easy to see how 3D printing can easily be implemented and same not only time but also costs with 3D printed orthotics specifically made for each patient.
Traditional methods of creating orthotics can be time costly and quite expensive to produce, especially when mass production for certain orthotics isn’t possible, so it needs to be done on demand.
Additionally, the materials used for orthotics are often difficult to construct to exactly fit every patient, which could just cause discomfort for the patient that is using the orthotics. So that does bring its challenges when using the traditional method.
Applying 3D printing and creating 3D printed orthotics, allows medical professionals to provide their patients with orthotics that are specifically designed for them, but could be specifically created to fit their body perfectly, removing the discomfort that traditional methods caused the patients.
There are three factors that 3D printed orthotics are beneficial for the medical industry.
Customized and personalized 3D printed products can be manufactured. Since orthotics cannot be completely standardized, having the ability to get them 3D printed in the perfect shape and size is incredible.
It provides great patient comfort as well allows the patient to make certain customization, for example colours, that fits their needs or day to day life.
Orthotics are going to be used day to day by the patients, additionally it needs to be durable due to the constant use. So, an advantage 3D printing has is that it could be customized was well when it comes to weight.
By implementing good topology optimization techniques, a lightweight orthotics can be produced. With a lighter weight, going through day to day activities for each patient is easier, which is just beneficial for the patients.
Lastly, with the addition of 3D printing, you can have your 3D printed orthotics in record time. Several steps are taken out of the production process with the on-demand manufacturing possibility that 3D printed orthotics brings with it.
The patient no longer must go through gruelling process and numerous visits to the doctor to adjust until it is perfect.
With these three factors it is easy to see why the use of 3D printing continues to grow when it comes to creating orthotics. 3D printed orthotics are not only beneficial for the industry itself but also brings benefits to the patients.
Orthotics is just one of the many uses of 3D printers in the health care industry that are making things easier and simpler when it comes to application but also easier and simpler for the patients.