Dacey Orthotics Solutions are a leading provider of bespoke orthotics services and manufacturing. The team includes specialists in diabetes, rheumatology, and paediatrics. They deliver a complete orthotics service including the creation of bespoke sports footwear and made-to-measure orthoses, bringing new technology to this space to elevate patient experience and revolutionise their processes. The Client currently utilises visual 3D scanning software which facilitates the capture of 3D data enabling the production of a 3D model of the foot. However, the Client engaged the team at ITERATE to design a new and improved version of their existing 3D scanning platform. Initially, the Client accessed 8-days of funded design support, during which the team explored possible concepts, the Client then commissioned ITERATE to develop, prototype, and manufacture the preferred concept design.
The Client had already identified a host of limitations with the existing platform system that the new design needed to overcome. These included, reducing interference when scanning, a capacity for the product to fold away for transportation and greater comfort from the patient’s perspective. Mechanically, the platform design seemed deceptively simple, however, material considerations were also vital. The platform itself needed to be manufactured in a clear material, of sufficient robustness and thickness that the patient wouldn’t lose balance when positioning their foot. This needed to be achieved without compromising the accuracy of the 3D scan. Durability and hygiene considerations also shaped the design development. When prototyping in-house, the scale of the product posed another crucial challenge. Given the size of the product, if a print were to fail for any reason, time and material might be wasted, which the team were eager to avoid.
“The fantastic team at ITERATE provided us with the opportunity of turning our ideas into a reality. They understood our brief from the outset and met all deadlines in regard to demonstrating potential design ideas and fully functional prototypes. We have been testing our prototype 3D Scanning Platform for the past few months and it has delivered in every aspect” – Stuart Rees, Managing Director at Dacey Orthotics Solutions
Overcoming the prototyping challenge required a strategic approach, informed by our design team’s expertise in additive manufacturing and access to 3D printing technologies in-house. Our solution was to dissect the design profile and print the prototype in sections which could then be seamlessly rebuilt to form the prototype. Working in this way allowed us to validate the design whilst adhering to project timelines and also, to gain confidence in the product’s performance before launching manufacture of the product (vacuum forming). The developed design also incorporated 3 adjustable height settings which ensured that multiple users could comfortably position their feet on the platform, whilst access to the underside of the platform could be maintained using a portable scanner. We purposefully designed the underside of the platform to prevent the product migrating when in use. Additional features such as the lockable closure, internal storage, and integrated handle for transport delivered a more refined, modern end-product.
We designed a platform that facilitated the easy and efficient 3D scanning of lower limbs that would improve the experience of both specialist service-providers and customers. The design fulfilled the Client’s ambition to create a product that allowed for greater accuracy of 3D data collection and enhanced comfort for the user, all delivered in a modern, stylish package with intuitive features and interaction points. Dacey are now offering this technology to their own patients and trade customers.