3D printing to produce made-to-measure insoles

Using the system being developed by FDM Digital Solutions, hospitals will be able to scan a patient’s foot shape and email it to the company,which will then print and deliver insoles to the exact specification within as little as 48 hours. The process will replace the traditional hand-made techniques and could revolutionise the way the NHS buys orthotics and other products.

FDM, together with and its partners East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Salford, have already won grants totaling almost £1m from theTechnology Strategy Board and EPSRC to help them develop the supply chain. This funding will enable the company to invest in the latest 3D technology to allow it to fulfill future orders.

FDM was established in 2011 by James Saunders, who has a background in operations management within the advanced materials sector, and Graeme Bond, who has over 10 years’ experience of 3D print techniques.

James Saunders, Managing Director of FDM Digital, said: “This new system could improve quality and reduce consultants’ time. It’s great that Rosebud and The North West Fund for Venture Capital have seen its potential and are backing our vision. 3D printing could transform supply chains in the NHS and other industries. We will become the leading centre of excellence for this new technology in the North West.”

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