Jan.14, 2014

FDM Digital Solutions (FDM), a Burnley, Lancashire, UK-based company which is developing a 3D printing system to produce made-to-measure insoles for the National Health Service (NHS), has secured a £860,000 investment from the North West Fund for Venture Capital and Lancashire's Rosebud Fund.

The NHS provides foot shoe inserts, or 'foot orthotics' to people who suffer pain from walking. The foot orthotics are engineered to provide support for the foot by distributing pressure or realigning foot joints. However, these devices are hand-made, slow to manufacture and often take 2-4 weeks to be delivered to the clinician.

But with the use of 3D printing, waiting times could be dramatically reduced. Hospitals scan a patient's foot and then email the details to FDM, whereupon the soles will be printed to the exact specification and delivered within 48 hours. The process will replace the traditional hand-made techniques and could revolutionise the way the NHS buys orthotics and other products.

The funding will allow FDM to invest in the latest 3D technology to fullfil future orders.

Prior to securing the venture capital investment, FDM, together with its partners East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Salford, have already won grants totalling almost £1m from the Technology Strategy Board and EPSRC to help them develop 3D-printed bespoke foot inserts.

James Saunders, who set up the business in 2011 alongside Graeme Bond and is managing director, says that the new system has the potential to improve quality and reduce consultants' time. "It's great that Rosebud and The North West Fund for Venture Capital have seen its potential and are backing our vision," he adds.

The North West Fund for Venture Capital has invested £688,000 while Lancashire County Council's Rosebud Fund has provided £172,000. Both funds are managed by Enterprise Ventures. The North West Fund for Venture Capital is part of the £155m North West Fund and is financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

Doug Stellman of Enterprise Ventures comments: "The (3D printing) technology that FDM is now proposing for orthotics allows the shape and properties of the materials be varied to match the patient's exact needs, as well as pioneering a new lean supply chain model which can be applied throughout the NHS."

Posted in 3D Printing Applications



Maybe you also like:


Ruben Garrido, makeitperu wrote at 1/16/2014 9:08:47 PM:

what material is the end use product?

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive