3D printing has brought about many changes and innovations in the field of manufacturing and health. It has opened the possibility of customizing 3D printing processes to makes objects suited for an individual.
Though experiments in the field of health like surgical and implant areas should be avoided by the average person, there have been exceptions. People have made 3D printed devices with no professional expertise. e-NABLE community is a perfect example of how a people can innovate incredible devices of great utility.
Insoles with good fitting and comfortable grip can be a boon for people suffering from foot and leg pain. 3D printing and scanning has made it very easy to manufacture orthotics and insoles that are customized and made for a particular person.
Steve Wood of Gyrobot Limited is a shoe designer who has manufactured the thermoformed Flexy-Form insoles. He has designed 3D printed prosthetics and has come up with a new tool. This new tool, Gensole, is a free browser tool that helps a person design his own 3D printed and customized insoles. The user has to upload his foot scan or work with the foot design templates provided.
This tool is a combination of four technologies-
• Solemorph is a process that molds the shape of the upper surface of the sole to match the provided foot scan
• Insoles that have variable densities, to define the high-pressure areas by printing with thick and thin mesh
• Perforated holes that are devised by open and closed core insoles, these allow better airflow and blood circulation.
• Adjusting insole curves a process called shoe profiling, that matches the person’s soles
Once the insole has been designed, a copy will be sent by Gensole to .AMF file to Slic3r, where it can be printed at home or 3D hub. Gyrobot wants the customers to upload their own designs on Thingiverse for the community to see and discuss.