STEREOLITHOGRAPHY TECHNIQUE FOR FABRICATION OF CUSTOM FOOT ORTHOSES: A COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS

M. S. JUMANI, S. SHAIKH, J. H. KHALIQDINA

Abstract


In medical field applications of rapid manufacturing techniques for production of personalised medical aids, prosthesis and orthoses are increasing at fast rate. Stereolithography (SLA) is a rapid manufacturing technique that directly fabricates three dimensional (3D) parts from computer aided design (CAD) based information. This includes the advantages of technique to fabricate the complex geometrical parts with increased accuracy and consistency. This paper presents a new approach whereby a stereolithography technique is used for production of personalised foot orthoses. A CAD based 3D foot orthosis model was used to fabricate the orthosis using  stereolithography technique. Furthermore, a cost and benefit analysis was undertaken to evaluate the feasibility of the technique for the production of custom foot orthoses on a commercial scale. The estimated fabrication cost of foot orthoses per pair through stereolithography technique is lower than the fabrication cost per pair through traditional techniques. However, at present the initial capital cost of machines and materials is still higher when compared to traditional materials and manufacturing techniques.

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