For the most part, when the general public hears the phrase ‘3D printing’ they typically imagine useless little trinkets slowly being fabricated out of a form of plastic material. I know this because I get made fun of quite often when I mention the fact that I believe 3D printing is going to change the world in many extraordinary ways. Today, I may have just gathered yet another weapon for my arsenal of ‘I told you so’s’ in my battle to prove that I’m not a disillusioned writer, crazy about this incredible technology.
Earlier this morning SOLS Systems announced that they have officially launched their SOLS custom 3D printed corrective orthotics. In doing so, they have just helped to make 3D printing a respected technology within the field of podiatry.
Beginning today, patients are able to visit any one of 70 SOLS providers across the United States and get prescribed for one of these incredible custom fitted insoles. To find a provider, it’s as easy as going to the SOLS website and searching via one’s zip code. A list of podiatrists within your area will then be displayed on the screen, whom you may contact and set up an appointment with.
“This is just the beginning. SOLS will be a tour de force in merging technology with our everyday lives enhancing both our present and our future for years to come,” exclaimed Dr. Lloyd Bowser, DPM, a leading Baltimore-area podiatrist.
The entire process is rather simple. A doctor will spend approximately 10 minutes 3D scanning the patient’s foot. Once scanned this information is sent over to a computer which creates a 3D model for an insole fit to the patient’s foot and shoe. At this point the doctor and patient can make changes to the model as they see fit, prior to having it 3D printed from a NASA grade nylon material which has been coated with an antimicrobial coating, at a separate facility. Patients will also have the option of choosing the color they desire. All SOLS orthotics are protected with a one year warranty against regular wear and tear.
Back in January the company wrapped up a trial run with 15 doctors in the New York area, which included Dr. Emily Splicha, who is a DPM and human movement specialist based in New York City.
“SOLS has been able to take the orthotic scanning and prescription process from archaic and sterile to tech-savvy and fashionable,” stated Splichal, “I have had many patients return to get additional pairs of SOLS after having such a positive experience and comfortable fit with the product.”
The company, which received $6.4 million in Series A funding back in April, hopes that this launch will be only the start to a whole new method of customization among the orthotics space. The ultimate goal is to partner with doctors on a global scale, and eventually expand their brand to other custom products.
Let’s hear your thought on this new method of customizing orthotics. Do you plan on trying these out? Discuss in the SOLS forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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