Not long ago at all, we couldn’t have even fathom that 3D printed customized insoles would be possible for the foot. Now though, industry competition is heating up! And iMcustom, new on the scene, is offering care for your feet—and fast.
Today they’ve announced the launch of their new system which is definitely revolutionary for this industry in terms of speed and convenience for the customer, as their technology allows for the 3D scanning and 3D printing of insoles in both medical and retail stores across the country. Customers interested in custom orthotics are able to have their feet scanned within a matter of mere minutes. Afterward they are given a ‘personalized insole recommendation’ that can actually then be 3D printed right there in the store also, in the very same day–in 90 minutes to two hours.
The launch of iMcustom comes after a pilot program over the last year and a half where the new 3D insole technology and various applications were hosted and tested at Sam’s Clubs. The iMcustom team traveled to stores and offered Sam’s members wholesale prices for evaluations and insoles. With such success there, iMcustom decided to begin offering the on-site 3D scanning and insole printing system around the country at select locations.
The 3D scanning machine, iMcustom’s proprietary polymer gel scanner (developed with MIT), may surprise you in appearance, as it’s quite a large, high-tech apparatus that you step onto, placing your foot in the designated area in the form of a soft gel cushion. The scan then appears before you on a colorful monitor as the machine performs a comprehensive 3D scan of the entire foot, displaying pressure points and also searching for potential alignment issues.
The team then analyzes, evaluates, and prepares the files. Information is emailed to the customer who can then decide on and okay their purchase before it goes straight to the 3D printer—and if watching their feet appear on the scanner isn’t already exciting enough, customers are also able to then watch their insoles being 3D printed directly afterward, on a special webcam. While the process used to take a week to ten days, with all of the equipment in the same place and on hand, insoles are now scanned, designed, manufactured, and handed to the customers in around two hours.
“iMcustom has created a first-of-its-kind system that is quite frankly a game changer for our industry [as] a process that used to take weeks or sometimes months to produce custom fit insoles has now been reduced to potentially an hour or two, courtesy of our dynamic 3D scanner and 3D printing system,” said Glen Hinshaw, CEO and founder of iMcustom.
Hinshaw was inspired to begin working on what would become iMcustom insoles after competing victoriously in the World Championship track cycling event in Manchester England. Like many before him, he too discovered what a difference custom orthotics made in terms of comfort, performance, and his health—but he also thought the process for manufacturing them was too difficult—in turn, making it hard for those who needed them to obtain such products. Following through on his wish for orthotics to be more accessible, Hinshaw went so far as to contact MIT and Nanyang Polytechnic to begin working on his designs in Singapore.
Hinshaw’s ultimate goal was to provide insoles made with precision, and to also offer personalized service which is certainly already being exemplified. He didn’t want customers to have to wait or be inconvenienced during the evaluation and sizing. More importantly, Hinshaw wants customers to have quality insoles that are affordable—and this is one of the greatest benefits generally seen with 3D printing, along with opportunity for customization.
Integrating TRUE 3D foot scan data along with the use of a modular FDM Print Pod system is now helping iMcustom scale products quickly at minimal cost and complexity. Their productions methods also reflect:
- Reduced cost
- An environmentally friendly process
- The ability to print trial pairs for fitting
- Virtually no waste
Hinshaw’s progress, along with the evolution of his company, is really very impressive—and the momentum is still rolling as he works, with his son Chase beside him, to bring custom insoles to people everywhere who need them.
Pricing for the custom insoles is generally around $249, although there is also a semi-custom option that can be purchased in a store or also online, beginning at only $89. Medical offices and retail shops can also acquire the machines for use in their locations, offering super fast services for their customers. For more information on iMcustom and how to lease or purchase a scanner and printer, please contact their sales department at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit iMcustom for more information. What do you think of these innovative, rapid services for custom orthotics? Discuss in the 3D Printed iMcustom Insoles forum over at 3DPB.com.[Source: IT Business Net]