3D Printed Variable Hardness Foot Orthotics with Patient-Specific Fit

Market Overview:

This custom-fit foot orthotic uses 3D printing, providing a clinician-to-patient manufacturing cycle that produces custom-fit foot orthotics in reduced time and lower costs. Over 29 million Americans, or 9.3 percent of the population, have diabetes. At any given moment, between 4-10 percent of diabetics have a diabetic foot ulcer. In 3-5 percent of cases, the ulcer will become serious enough that an amputation is required to save a limb or the patient’s life. Traditional pressure offloading foot orthotics manufactured from foam-box negative imprints are effective in reducing ulceration. The downside, however, is the current manufacturing practices are costly, time-consuming, and labor intensive with high material waste. Clemson University Researchers have developed a 3D-printed custom foot orthotic with patient-specific geometry and variations in material hardness. This orthotic leverages commercially available 3D-printed materials in combination with a suite of proprietary algorithms, customizing the material geometry and enabling rapid fabrication of foot orthotics at a resolution not found in standard orthotic materials.


Application                                                        Stage of Development

Diabetic orthotics; Sports performance              Proof of concept; Prototype



• Provides improved hardness and geometric resolution, optimizing pressure reduction

• Utilizes low-cost commercially available 3D-printed materials, resulting in a significant reduction in

  the turn-around-time to fabricate a custom orthotic


Technical Summary

Clemson University researchers have developed a system to 3D-print custom foot orthotics, such that patient specific geometry and variations in material hardness are directly printed to satisfy clinical need. The inherent flexibility of 3D printed orthotics decreases the wait time from 2-3 weeks to 1 hour for patients needing orthotics. Due to the low-cost and rapid turn-around-time, this orthotic allows clinicians to make subsequent high resolution adjustments in hardness topology to the custom foot orthotic as the patient’s response to treatment evolves.


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Inventors:                          John DesJardins, Scott Stanley, Breanne Przestrzelksi, Brain Kaluf, Timothy Pruett,

                                            Steven Hoeffner


Application Type:              Provisional, Utility


Serial Number:                  62/117,690; 15/046,661


CURF Reference:              2015-016


Patent Information:
Biomedical Sciences
For Information, Contact:
Chase Kasper
Business Development
Clemson University Research Foundation
John DesJardins
Scott Stanley
Breanne Przestrzelski
Brian Kaluf
Timothy Pruett
Steven Hoeffner
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