The startup Shapecrunch from India has set itself the goal of automating the process of custom inholes from the 3D printer. In the first step, ShapeCrunch`s 3D model helps the user to create a 3D configurator of his feet from photos. Based on the data, a medical, custom-fit and individual insole can then be created for the patient.

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The use of 3D printing technology in medicine offers interesting solutions for a wide variety of medical areas. This also includes orthopaedics, which often requires precisely fitting and patient-specific products. German researchers, who developed insoles for diabetes patients using a 3D printer, also recognized the advantages of 3D printing. Now an indian company wants to help those affected with an app for custom inholes.

Foot scan with an app.

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Just as with dental prostheses or hearing aids, 3D printing can also be used on inholes to produce a perfectly suitable, custom-made shape for patients at low cost. Inholes and orthoses specifically tailored to the individual patient are expensive. With 3D-printed, flat insoles, only a few layers are required for printing, which makes the inexpensive and takes hardly any time to produce.

The flexibility of 3D printers gives many people access to custom inholes by scanning in combination with 3D printing. India`s startup ShapeCrunch presented its new app that combines 3D foot scanning with 3D printing – all you need is a smartphone.

Production process of individually adapted insoles is digitized.

The causes of knee, neck and back pain are often found in people with problematic feet. The conventional manufacturing process of insoles involves enormous costs and time and only works manually. With ShapeCrunch and its computer algorithm, the entire manufacturing process for custom foot orthoses is largely automated.

Physicians can now use the free ShapeCrunch app to capture images of patients feet. After uploading, ShapeCrunch uses an intelligent algorithm to convert the images into a 3D model of the foot orthosis that can ultimately be printed in 3D. It only takes 7 minutes to take pictures of the patient`s foot with the app.

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The perfect combination of FDM-3D printing and TPU.

ShapeCrunch will be on the market in early 2017 and sold more than 2000 insoles in a year, as an interview with a CEO of ShapeCrunch in the US blog shows. Since everything runs via an app, every patient or doctor can download the app and take pictures of their feet. In this way, user-defined insoles can be created quickly and easily. The flexible thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is perfectly printed on at the time of FDM-3D printing. TPU offers many positive properties, including transparency, elasticity and resistance to abrasion, grease and oil. The upper layer consists of a shock-absorbing and breathable material called PORON, which keeps feet healthly and fresh.

ShapeCrunch has worldwide alliance with podiatrists who use the new technology to scan patients` feet and the produce insoles with 3D printing. Individual adjustments tailored to the patient are possible, ehich is not the case with conventional insoles. The computer algorithm supplies the limit curves and the learning algorithm the inner curves. The patient`s height, weight, age and pain areas are also taken into account. The algorithm provides a variable density profile that is important for creating the 3D print file. In the next 3 months the integration of sensors will be presented as an additional analysis tool that can also be used for diagnostic purposes.

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With moderate use, orthoses last up to 2 years without problems and for athletes and demanding users between 1 and 1.5 years. The warranty is 6 months. ShapeCrunch products and technologies are currently being presented at medical conferences, which are also in use in more than 50 clinics in India and Singapore. In addition, the company plans to enter the US market, which is referred to as the main market.

ShapeCrunch`s goal is clear: to provide customers with a fully customized biomechanics improvement solution. Finally, the insoles should be worn by anyone who needs them.