The future of orthopedic shoe insole production has a new name: One Pro. The hardware device for serial additive manufacturing with an endless printing surface has been reinforced. Thanks to a sophisticated concept set up with experienced partners, iFactory3D now delivers a closed system optimized for orthopedic insole printing. Coordinated software and medically certified material round off the user experience and make the One Pro plug & play. The printer was shown at the OST trade fair in Cologne on 20.10.2023 and 21.10.2023. The Orthopädie Schuh Technik Köln trade fair is the international trade fair for orthopaedic footwear technology, 2023 with more than 170 exhibitors and around 5000 expected visitors, which was held for the first time in 2011.
Printing endlessly into the future
First of all, the One Pro comes with a physical advantage that makes it ideal for shoe insole production. The 45-degree printing angle, which is adapted to the conveyor belt, ensures inherently better adhesion between the layers. This results in particularly clean, soft edges and a smooth surface. In contrast to conventional, Cartesian printing processes, where the last layers often end up uneven, the One Pro offers superior quality. This is particularly important in the production of 3D-printed insoles, as they require maximum comfort and a perfect fit. In addition, this process is extremely material-saving, as only a few support structures need to be printed.
Ecological and economic efficiency
Additive manufacturing with the One Pro is not only more precise and of higher quality, but also many times more environmentally and economically efficient than conventional manufacturing processes in shoe insole production. Instead of milling insoles from solid blocks and wasting valuable material in the process, production takes place with minimal waste and maximum resource efficiency. This advantage is provided solely by the additive manufacturing method, in which only the material that is needed is applied layer by layer. Stabilizing supports or columns are largely eliminated with the conveyor belt device. Among other things, this saves printing time, but also time in post-processing. And ultimately material, which is good for the environment and your wallet.
Health first and foremost
In addition to using only as much material as necessary, it is just as important to use the right material. Under normal circumstances, shoe insoles are in close contact with the body for long periods of time. It should therefore go without saying that only safe materials should be selected for this function. This is not yet common practice, but iFactory3D and its partner have decided to use only high-quality filament for shoe insole production. The material used is certified as a class 1 medical device (MRD1). This is important for products that are close to the skin, such as orthopedic insoles, as it avoids the use of materials with harmful toxins. In contrast to some Chinese manufacturers who push the limits, using the recommended end-to-end system with the One Pro focuses on low exposure values and makes a clear statement for healthy alternatives.
Voice of satisfaction
Customers like Akbal Randhawa, founder of The Foot Clinic in the UK, are convinced of the belt printer’s benefits. Akbal shares, “3D conveyor belt technology is new to the UK. I make multiple pairs of orthotics a week, which the One Pro allows me to produce quickly and with minimal waste. Without the One Pro, I would have to send the orthoses to a lab and then wait two weeks for them to be made. The orthoses I can make are replacing the milled EVA devices and even some of the molded plastic orthoses.”
The One Pro is not only successful in Germany, but is already in use in more than 10 countries worldwide. Its plug-and-play philosophy is aimed precisely at the problem of the shortage of skilled workers. Until now, the production of orthopedic insoles has been time-consuming and material-intensive. But the One Pro makes production easier and more efficient. With this simple system, one employee can take on more work, increase productivity and that makes the job more appealing. The One Pro can contribute to making the industry more attractive to young people, important for skilled trades such as orthopedics. Those time-tested crafts are especially faced with a shortage of young talent.
Looking to the future
The One Pro will be present at MEDICA, one of the world’s largest trade fairs for medical technology and orthopedics. This shows how relevant and forward-looking the One Pro 3D belt printer is for orthopedics. iFactory3D won the MedX@Düsseldorf competition. The price was to officially represent the city of Düsseldorf at this year’s MEDICA trade fair. The young tech company is proud to show their approaches and demonstrating the advantages of belt printing in medical technology,
Innovations like the One Pro mark important steps in the development of orthopedic insole manufacturing. With its innovative technology, ecological approach and simplicity, it opens up a new era in orthopedic insole production. This will not only reduce production costs, but also improve the quality and healthiness of the insoles. A win-win situation for manufacturers, professionals and, above all, the people who benefit from orthopedic insoles.