FDM is pioneering the use of 3D printing to produce made-to-measure insoles for the NHS and has secured an £860,000 investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital and Lancashire Rosebud Fund.
Using the system being developed by FDM Digital Solutions, hospitals will be able to scan a patient’s foot shape and email it to the company, which will then print and deliver insoles to the exact specification within as little s 48 hours. The process will replace the traditional hand-made techniques and could revolutionise the way the NHS buys orthotics and other products. 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 the supply chain. This latest funding will enable the company to invest in the latest 3D technology to allow it to fulfil future orders. Using 3D printing or additive layer manufacturing (ALM) as it is also known as objects are created layer by layer to replicate an exact design. In addition to its work in the medical sector, FDM Digital manufactures components for the aerospace, engineering, automotive and motor sports industries. Using 3D printing objects are created layer by layer to replicate an exact design using CAD. In addition to its work in the medical sector, FDM Digital manufactures prototypes, jigs, fixtures and end use parts for industries such as aerospace, engineering, automotive and motor sports using soluble core technology. It also offers 3D scanning and reverse engineering services.