Your next pair of orthotics could come from a 3D printer.
Brisbane-based iOrthotics is first commercial customer in Australia to purchased a HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printing Solution.
With the purchase, iOrthotics is set to become one of the first orthotics manufacturers in the world to have completely transitioned from polypropylene milling to 3D additive manufacturing.
A subsidiary of My FootDr – Australia’s largest podiatry group – the company supplies custom made orthotic devices to more than 50 clinics, and expects to extend its reach to 130 clinics over the next few years, with potential for international expansion.
“As a rapidly growing business, we needed to innovate our manufacturing process to keep up with demand. It was impractical to continue scaling up subtractive milling, which could produce just 30 plastic devices per day. Using HP Multi Jet Fusion technology, our output has increased to 120-130 devices per day,” said Damian Vassallo, co-founder of iOrthotics and non-executive director of my FootDr.
“With the ability to extend our capabilities, we are now undertaking orthotic and prosthetic fabrication and offering a 3D bureau printing service for engineering and industrial clients. It has been a quantum leap in technology, and our final investment decision has been validated.”
iOrthotics said the benefits of 3D printing included speed, superior in quality and almost zero waste.
“Subtractive milling results in 95 per cent of the polypropylene being wasted, whereas HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology has reduced wastage to less than one per cent of the material,” said Dean Hartley, founding director and general manager, iOrthotics.
“The extensive research and testing we conducted with the University of Queensland provided the empirical evidence that devices manufactured by HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology are 40 to 60 per cent stronger than those produced using traditional polypropylene milling.”