Cost modelling for fabrication of custom-made foot orthoses using 3D Printing Technique



Rapid manufacturing (RM) techniques construct the products guided through computer aided designing systems through various fabrication methods involving extrusion; sintering and photo polymerisation through deposition of material guided by CAD designed information of the parts. The rapid manufacturing techniques have the advantages of design freedom, increased part accuracy and consistency in production of final part. Recently the adoption of these techniques in various manufacturing sectors for direct production of the parts has been moved from 4% in year 2003 to nearly 20% in year 2011. This is driven by continuous reductions in material and machines costs which are the important factors that have increased the trend of application of rapid manufacturing techniques in different manufacturing sectors. Applications of rapid manufacturing techniques require productivity analyses that ultimately influence the manufacturer’s decision for commercial scale applications of these techniques for low-volume production and production of custom-made parts; especially in medical sector. The requirement of production of custom-made parts, rehabilitation aids and devices in medical sector is explicitly higher in comparison to other manufacturing sectors. In this papercost and lead-time modelling is conducted for one of the rapid manufacturing technique named 3D printing for fabrication of custom-made foot orthosis. The results showed that fabrication cost £288.55 per pair of foot orthoses. The techniques also showed the advantage of reduced product lead-time.

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