Production scaling of orthotics
Project description and overview:
The first AMGC grant was utilised to allow mass customisation of material orthotics to replace the rigid orthotics manufactured by subtractive machining of polypropylene. These orthotics types account for 50% of the iOrthotic product range and result in an annual reduction of around 60 tonnes in waste polypropylene.
This new project is focussed initially on replacing top cover and add-on materials with Thermoplastic Poly-Urethane (TPU) powder material in a new HP Fusion Jet printer model (HP5200) suitable for that material. This will enable significant scale of production. The findings from TPU material testing will be used to develop a replacement for subtractively manufactured Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) orthotics which will result in an annual reduction of 15 tonnes of waste EVA.
Substantial product advantages and variations for other specific medical conditions together with manufacturing improvements will be achieved through this technology development, as the current process is the most manual labour intensive manufacturing step in any orthotics laboratory.
This contrast in material deposition inclusive of the interface between macro and microstructures is what is being obtained through the technology advancement of this grant. To achieve this, iOrthotics will require the purchase of a new Model 5200 3D printer that can print TPU and thereby remove the reliance on traditional CNC milling. The second goal of this project is to develop the technology components for a fully integrated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.
- Increased collaboration with research institutions
- More staff with STEM skills
- Better qualified employees
- Newer equipment
- More automation through technology development
- Smarter inventory management
- Larger geographical reach
- An additional $25 million globally within five years
- One junior applications developer
- One senior applications developer
- One web developer
- Five to ten full time positions will be created within two years of the project
Government Funds: $450,560 | Industry: $450,560| In-Kind: $95,000