Leveraging HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing technology, iOrthotics manufactures new orthotic devices that offer higher quality more quickly, improving patient outcomes while also reducing waste. This case study outlines iOrthotics’ business challenge and solution to make 3D printing mass customisation possible. Download iOrthotics HP Case Study Continue reading “Case Study: How HP’s 3D printing technology helps iOrthotics develop products that benefit people everywhere”
A year of rapid innovation at Australia’s leading foot orthotics manufacturer, iOrthotics, is pioneering one of the biggest shifts in Australia’s podiatry industry and priming the company for global expansion.
The Brisbane-based business is one of few orthotic manufacturing laboratories in the world to produce custom-made 3D printed orthotic devices, spearheading the global transition away from traditional subtractive production using polypropylene milling. Continue reading “3D printed orthotics manufacturer expands footprint”
Leading Australian orthotic manufacturer, iOrthotics, became the first commercial customer to purchase an HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printing Solution in the country, helping to produce stronger orthotics devices faster and more sustainably. Continue reading “iOrthotics adopts new HP 3D Printing Solution”
With the Australian government’s increased focus on innovation and technology, local orthotics manufacturing company iOrthotics is leading the way for the industry, with its new 3D printed orthotic devices.
The Turnbull-government has thrown its support behind initiatives like iOrthotics’ 3D printing manufacturing techniques, announcing its $1.1 billion innovation statement late last year to “incentivise, energise, dynamise” the Australian industry.
iOrthotics uses 3D printing technology to deliver its unique 3D printed orthotic device, EnviroPoly. As an alternative to polypropylene, the new EnviroPoly approach has been developed using iOrthotics’ own unique material and additive manufacturing processes.
The business has invested hundreds of thousands in research and development (R&D) to establish its market-leading orthotics solution. It has also partnered with the University of Queensland, The Centre for Advance Materials Processing and Manufacturing (CADPM) to undertake further testing and consult a proven research organisation.
“iOrthotics is focused on reducing the scale and scope of the environmental impact of plastic and rubber based materials and products in the podiatry industry,” says iOrthotics Founder, General Manager and Podiatrist Dean Hartley.
“We’ve worked hard to create a more sustainable future for our industry and the environment, moving away from unsustainable subtractive manufacturing processes.”
“By improving our manufacturing methods, iOrthotics has achieved a 99 per cent reduction in waste for rigid orthotics, compared to traditional polypropylene devices.
“In partnering with the University of Queensland, we’ve brought significant PhD thinking to the products’ development. This partnership will also guide further development and allow us to produce higher quality, research-driven devices.”
“In addition, this research will aid the pathology implications associated with orthotic design and allow us to improve the design processes to create high quality orthotic devices.”
The National Innovation and Science Agenda is also aimed at driving smart ideas that create business growth, local jobs and global success. True to this, the rapid growth iOrthotics is currently experiencing thanks to its market-leading technologies is also expected to benefit the local economy.
“Unlike other industries who have moved their manufacturing offshore, we’re expanding our Australian operations, with a new manufacturing warehouse and head office,” Mr Hartley says.
“Our manufacturing processes are not only more sustainable, but will help drive local job growth and provide a much-needed boost to the Australian economy.”
Mr Hartley says iOrthotics is able to pass on the benefits of its R&D and innovation to customers and the wider manufacturing industry.
“By using leading-edge technology, we’ve been able to future proof our organisation and the orthotics industry,” he says.
“While we will continue to focus on and invest in our primary Australia market, this approach provides us with the scalability to grow our business and service other global markets in the future, such as Asia Pacific, North America and Europe.”
In the orthotic manufacturing industry, both in Australia and around the globe, a large amount of waste is produced on a daily basis to make orthotics. That’s why iOrthotics has invested heavily into research and development (R&D) to reduce our impact on the environment.
The solution for iOrthotics was to replace traditional CNC (milling) manufacturing with 3D printing. While 3D printing technology has been around for some time, no orthotic laboratory has been able to fully replace traditional milling. When iOrthotics made the decision to transition to 3D printed polypropylene orthotics, industry experts said it could not be done. Their arguments against 3D printing were that the material was not good enough, the process was too slow, the technology was too expensive and the software needed was not available.
Over the past 18 months our lab has tested materials, software, hardware and design processes to ensure our podiatry clients would receive a product not simply equal, but superior to traditional polypropylene.
The R&D process has included;
• Testing over 50 different 3D printing materials from around the globe for strength, durability and flexibility
• Testing the products under duress and patient conditions
• Testing a wide range of printing methods
• Experimenting with different designs and eliminating weak points
• Consulting with industry professionals and existing customers
Most notably, iOrthotics have been working with the University of Queensland’s Engineering Department to test the stress and strain properties of our EnviroPoly material. This study will help guide further development and allow us to produce higher quality, research driven devices.
In addition, we consulted with our client’s to gather feedback about improvements we can make to the devices. We’re not afraid to admit when we’re wrong and we fully understand that there’s no better feedback than from our podiatry customers.
From this process, we have developed a unique 3D printed orthotic device appropriately known as EnviroPoly.
By introducing EnviroPoly orthotic devices, iOrthotics has been able to transition to almost zero waste compared to polypropylene products. When a podiatrist chooses EnviroPoly, there’s over a 99% reduction in waste compared to milled polypropylene orthotic devices. Not only are our 3D printed orthotics good for the environment, they’re lighter, thinner and stronger than ever. Not to mention, they look great too!
3D printing has the potential to revolutionise the industry from a sustainability and design perspective. Our business is committed to reducing the scale and scope of the environmental impact of plastic and rubber based materials and products in the podiatry industry.