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Sols scans your feet and creates 3D-printed custom insoles


February 4, 2014

Sols are 3D printed custom insoles

Sols are 3D printed custom insoles

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The healthcare industry is already making use of 3D printing technologies to print casts, tracheal splints, ears, prostheses, and even cells. Now, a New York-based company wants to print the insoles in your shoes to reduce foot pain and improve posture. Sols Systems has raised US$1.75 million of seed financing from Lux Capita to bring its custom orthotics to market.

Custom insoles are nothing new, but, unlike traditional means of foot mapping, Sols lets users take a scan of their feet with a smartphone app and submit the scans directly to the company's database, reducing the time required for the production process. After an initial check is carried out to verify the data, the scans are converted to 3D models of a user's feet, from which personalized insoles are then printed.

The insoles themselves are made from flexible nylon and are dyed to the user's own choice of color. They are coated in an antimicrobial layer that aims to reduce foot odor. Gizmag spoke to founder and CEO of Sols Kegan Schouwenburg who explained how they differ from other orthotics.

"Right now, when a doctor prescribes a pair of orthotics they generally send a paper form, with two casts of the persons feet, to a lab," she says. "The multiple human touch points in the process leave room for error."

"Foot mapping provides a pressure map of the foot," Schouwenburg continues. "At Sols, we are replacing the need for casts and fiberglass models of the foot with a 3D model collected via a series of complex algorithms. Our 3D scans are made up of hundreds of thousands of unique individual points across the foot and ankle."

According to Schouwenburg, the Sols insole returns up to 75 percent of the energy in each footstep, an achievement she describes as "huge." She also outlined a number of other areas in which Sols offer benefits to the user, including the ability to adjust the shape of the insoles to improve alignment, factoring in user weight and activity level to vary the properties of the insoles, and incorporating a "two-part spring system" to help a wearer to move more easily throughout the day.

Sols is targeting both the consumer and medical sectors. As well as a consumer line with a focus on performance and comfort, the company plans to develop a line aimed at corrective treatment. Over the next year, it also plans to release additional app features to allow for real-time visualization of the final product, along with the effect that any changes will make to a user's bio-mechanical alignment and gait.

Sols will launch in the first half of 2014. You can see a product overview in the video below.

Source: Sols

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds. All articles by Stu Robarts

Printing them is interesting but Surefoot has been scanning and milling them for years. My podiatrist said they were better than anything he could make.


Dory Goldberger

Do you know what the price range will be for these orthotics,and what guarantee comes with them?

Gord Churchill

I am a foot doctor x 42 years practice. There is lots of junk orthotic claims out in the market,Try walmart Crap. Foot tilt deformities cannot be captured by someones cell phone. Double ach springs--what is that about? Good biomechanical foot control is done by a trained Podiatrist-Look at the Root biomechanical text-2 inches thick. It is complicated. Please see a specialist if y ou have foot problems and want 100% control. Dr ed Wiebe.

Edward Wiebe
This is the beginning of true home manufacturing. I have been using foot supports for ten years. I go through five of these a year, but would stabilize if I could replace these units every week. Now I can! Combs to tooth brushes, and thousands of everyday everything's are about to become available to everyone. This will increase personal freedom, and slam an end to government as we have "historically" known it. I can see a direct revolution in individual respect of voters since it will become increasingly impossible to sustain bureaucratic governance, as we know it. Heck; you can go to an encyclopedia, and learn to have a nuclear weapon made from the glow-in-the-dark elements from old watches, and then have it produced. How can you stop this. It makes citizen involvement mandatory. This will give the citizen the upper hand and create fearful servants out of government. Like it or not, when quantum digits makes reality, there is no turning back. Thomas Stein

trying to fix the weight bearing, balancing,and motion initiators using a orthotic is ignorant at best , its like hammering a wedge under the foundation of a building, it might look good at first, but the stress placed on foot with one will wreck havoc on the rest of the body. the body has to be balanced as a whole or not at all, all the plumbing in the body is affected by these devices, mostly destructively, creating foot doctors is counter productive as well as looking at the problem as a foot only problem is just crazy and counter productive as well. The soft tissue in the body is everywhere and needs to be balanced to address structural problems it cannot be "Fixed" using orthotics. every foot doctor has a different story and thats because what they do isn't working

science ninja
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