Investigators: Albert J. Shih, Kira L. Barton, Thomas J. Armstrong, Emily Kaplan Mower Provost, Toni Antonucci, James A. Ashton-Miller, Roland KR Chen, Emily Mower Provost
Funding: National Science Foundation, 2015-2018 (1534003)
Custom orthoses, which have better fit and efficacy to improve the quality-of-life of people with disabilities, are severely limited by the current design and manufacturing practices. Plaster molding is still utilized for fabrication of custom orthoses. This approach is not accurate, has a long delivery time (1-2 weeks for foot orthosis and 2-4 weeks for ankle-foot orthosis), lacks the flexibility in shape design, requires experienced and skilled technicians, and needs multiple patient visits to evaluate, fit and modify the orthoses. The quality, cost and delivery time of custom orthosis in the current service system needs transformative upgrade based on the digital design and manufacturing technology.