3D-printed orthotics with and without 3D Scanning

orth1Strong and comfortable orthotics is key for patient acceptance. Although orthotics are strong, there are not comfortable and may cause pressure sores and other problems. Additionally, most orthotics cannot be exposed to water, such as during bathing. Multiple patients have requested that their orthotics be created in stronger materials while also allowing them to breath. For this reason, orthotics were created using scans of individuals and other orthotics. Unfortunately, some people with disabilities presenting in the form of tremors cannot be scanned. For this reason, orthotics are being generated using parametric modeling.

A child with a rare neck disorder is in need of a custom-fit neck brace. He was scanned with a 3D scanner so we could get a 3D model of his neck. We loaded the 3D model into other software to create an offset of the model to accommodate padding for the brace. The brace was then extruded and a voronoi pattern was applied. We have the option of adding buckles, straps, clips, etc. according to the child/parents’ need.orth3


Spinal cord injury (SCI) patients have shown an increase in motor control output, cardiovascular and pulmonary function, and quality of life, when engaging in meaningful recreational activity. Part of the challenge in engaging in recreational activity is the limited amount of equipment available to do so. Boating activities allow SCI patients of all ability levels to engage in recreation activity, but transferring to and from wheelchairs and boats presents challenges. These challenges are manifest in terms of patient transfers in awkward postures, uneven and slippery surfaces, and in a wet and dirty environment that is damaging to wheelchairs.

To relieve issues associated with patient transfers, a docking system is being designed to allow a dry, stable area for wheelchair/boat transfers to occur. The Portable Accessible Docking System (PADS) must facilitate easy patient transfer while being safe for patients and therapists alike. Other requirements involve a self-sustaining power system, non-permanent placement, provide shade and heat relief, and be completely self-contained for storage. The idea is that a kayak will paddle up to the rear door, and then be hoisted out of the water onto the rear door while the rear door is raising up to level. This will allow for easy transfer between wheel chairs and kayaks.

This project is a custom-designed pontoon, focused on transferring paraplegic and quadriplegic participants to and from modified water equipment, such as the E-Tetra kayak.