Making orthopedic products with a 3D printer reduces labor time immensely
“On average it takes 2-3 design iterations before a product design is finalized for production. This can severely impact time to market, with up to an additional 30 business days added in.”
The 3D printer will ensure that people with disabilities get a more enjoyable life. For example, people who miss a lower leg and therefore have to wear a prosthesis. However, these are often not custom-designed and are expensive. Time for change. A Tractus 3Dprinter is now being used to develop a tailor-made prosthesis in a cheap way. Result is a more precise and cheaper production process. Orto+ makes it now possible to anatomically design and manufacture all kinds of individual prosthetic and orthotic devices through computer, our 3D printers and software applications.
Challenge and solution
By using a 3D printer, they can make the shape and modifications of the model anatomically correct: they can rotate, correct and align the models, which cannnot usually be made into plaster. Using 3D printing technology, Orto+ can quickly and easily create individual prostheses, reducing time, labor and expenses in the process. The new approach means the team can achieve greater model accuracy, resulting in less error and a better service for their clients.
Orto+: “The process before using Tractus3D printers was very long. Each iteration had to be handmade. Now, all iterations can be printed at the same time and we can ensure consistent, reliable results. The level of detail is impeccable.” To create the orthopedic models, specialist technicians needed to undertake precise, demanding tasks, such as sawing the model to move it into the correct position. With 3D printing this is all done automatically and the process of customization is made easier.
“3D printing has significantly changed the way we create. Via a 3D scan and our specialist software we can generate all the intermediate iterations, right up to the final model. All iterations are then 3D printed, which takes considerably less time than creating the models entirely by hand”.
Over the last few decades, more and more materials have been released on the market. This has led to continuous improvement in design and functionality in the production of orthopedic tools. Experts believe 3D printing has the potential to completely change the production processes.
New composites and hybrid plastics provide lighter, stronger and more customizable tools. This means that some materials that are popular today are actually outdated and, in the future, will be replaced by materials specifically designed for these new production techniques.
By choosing the right material, alongside anatomically accurate and precise changes to the model, patients get the best quality, comfort, moisture and freedom of wearing. Comfort and function are the primary factors that determine a successful result.
Improved efficiency and less labor costs
Incorporating a Tractus3D printer into their workflow has improved efficiency and reduced labor. The most notable improvement is the time saved, which in turn, offers economic benefits. All iterations can now be printed at the same time, which enables the team to focus on other important tasks. There’s no need to create a model and modify it continuously by hand.
Orto+ tells us that they will continue to use Tractus 3D printers in their practice. “In addition to being consistent and reliable, 3D printers allowed us to achieve greater design accuracy, giving us a strong competitive edge in the market.”
The cost of the 3D printed model costs less as, without any manual labor, it only takes 2-4 hours to create a model.
Orto+ can promise top-notch custom devices, as a 3D printer is less likely to make accidental mistakes in comparison to manual labor.
Traditional model making takes 3-5 hours, while 3D printing with a Tractus3D printing takes 2-4 hours.
Making custom prosthetic and orthotic devices requires several iterations, of which the process is less costly using 3D printing.
Material costs and labor costs are significantly reduced, as the 3D printer works without someone having to operate it.
Very personal design is kept in-house, so there is no need to worry about confidentiality any longer.