Sustainable 3D prints for foot specialists

Are you interested in using 3D printing methods within the medical sector? Do you want to test new 3D printing filaments and test its usability? Then this is the question for you!

Sustainable 3D prints for foot specialists

Leading Foot Technology (LFT) offers foot specialists a complete solution to put together the best insoles and orthopedic supplements. They do this by modelling and manufacturing the insoles using CAD/CAM techniques. Currently LFT is looking into ways to become more sustainable. That is why they are looking into 3D filaments for a possible extra production method.

Background Information

The company Leading Foot Technology (LFT) offers foot specialists a complete solution to put together the best insoles and orthopedic supplements. This is done for foot-related problems in diabetics, rheumatism patients, athletes, children, and other patient groups. They get hundreds of orders for custom-made medical insoles per day. These are then modelled and manufactured within a few working days using CAD/CAM techniques. By using the CAD/CAM production method, the insole is produced by starting with a milling block and milling the access material. This results in a lot of waste and dust.  Additionally, afterwards of the milling process, grinding of the insoles is a labor-intensive process. Furthermore, the manufactory of the milling blocks is somewhere else and therefore adds transport. In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, LFT wants to offer 3D printed medical insoles in addition to the current CAD/CAM production method.

Problem (Ambition) Description

It is highly desirable to become more sustainable and to reduce the burden on the environment. 3D printing could be, next to CAD/CAM, the production technology for the future. For 3D printing, LFT wants to use filaments with material characteristics comparable to the current Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) materials which have excellent qualities in material characteristics.

Assignment Description

LTF has just developed, together with their strategic partner, a new potential thermoplastic filament for 3D printing. This product needs to be tested to come to a final product with the required characteristics. As a student, you will be testing this filament. How can they ensure that the density is guaranteed repeatedly, how can they measure the density, and what will happen with the material if they recycle it? You will also help to develop and improve the current design of the 3D printed insoles. For example, on speed of printing in combination with a good finishing touch, retention of shape (firmness), lifespan, aesthetics, and the correct density in the correct zones (segments/elements in combination with heights). You will have extensive opportunities to test prototypes yourself and with your direct colleagues. LFT offers your office- and working facilities.

At the end of your project, you will write a research report of your project. Next to this, you will produce different amounts of (tested) prototypes and a roadmap for foot specialists how they can use CAD to get the best results of insoles out of the 3D printer.

Recommended Study Program

Industrial Design Engineering

Are you following a different study program, but do you think you are suitable for the challenge? Do not hesitate to contact us!

Starting Date

As soon as possible

Sustainable Development Goals

3, 9,12

Are you interested in this assignment, or do you have any questions?

Get in touch with Egbert!

Egbert van Hattem
Egbert van Hattem
Coordinator SMART
Egbert van Hattem

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