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  • Writer's pictureEva Stahl

Custom 3D printed orthotic devices

A classification: craft, software, service manufacturing, 3D printing

Are you an orthotist looking into digital design? Wondering how you can get from a file to a 3D printed orthotic device? What materials are used in this manufacturing method? Can and should you 3D print sockets or orthotics at all? If so, how do you get exactly the 3D printed end product you want?

As is so often the case, there are no simple answers to the above questions. To provide the best possible care for a patient, a practitioner will always want to have a choice between combining digital with traditional workflows, or even going completely digital. And that's the right thought process, in our opinion. Often, the presentation alone determines whether thermoforming, laminating or 3D printing is the best option.

But when it comes to digitizing the entire process to 3D print an orthosis, for example, practitioners now have a good alternative to expensive and complex CAD/CAM software providers or service manufacturing.

Complex software or service manufacturing? Is there a simpler way?

Let's take a quick look at these two options before we get to the alternative: Anyone who brings complex CAD/CAM software into the business usually has to reckon with high costs and is often tied up with it for a long time. Here, not only installation or license costs come into play, but above all high follow-up costs and dependencies: Long training periods for staff, for example. Often, one is even tied to system-related bundle products, such as scanners.

If, in turn, a practitioner works with an external service provider for service production he loses the flexibility to come up with an individual patient treatment. If the orthosis supplied does not meet the expectations, the coordination process starts all over again.

However, there is a good alternative to the above two options. One that allows the technician to work completely independently digitally and keep control of the overall process of creating a 3D-printed orthosis. The software solution is the Mecuris Solution Platform.

The alternative: Mecuris3D Creator, our tool for designing customized orthoses


No rasping in the plaster room, no thermoforming, no material storage. Instead, the digital process offers the option of easy documentation, the ability to undo or repeat processing steps at any time, millimeter precision and easy reproducibility. On the Mecuris Solution Platform, the practitioner uses three independently usable digital tools to create a print-ready orthosis, from posture correction to modifying a positive model and design.

The Mecuris3D Creator tool is available for designing orthosis. We based its development on the requirements and needs of the technicians and then implemented it in cooperation with technology partner trinckle, a software provider for automated design processes. The goal was to create a simple way to translate the complex topic of orthotic design for specific use cases as easily as possible. After releasing the Mecuris3D Creator for initial use cases last year, we are now looking forward to an important update.

As of October 2022, the Mecuris3D Creator can be applied to significantly more supply cases:

Previous use cases:

  • AFO - Lower Leg Orthoses

  • WHFO - Wrist & hand orthoses

Newly added are the following orthoses:

  • KAFO - Whole leg orthoses: ideal if two- or three-part orthoses (foot, lower leg, thigh shell) are printed separately

  • Knee orthosis

  • EWHFO - orthoses for the entire arm: Here, too, it is advisable - especially for orthoses for adults - to print the orthosis in two parts

  • Other applications, such as spinal brace- currently recommended for pediatric applications

With the Mecuris3D Creator you are completely flexible in your design. The tool offers a high degree of design freedom: a free choice of wall thickness, a free definition of the trimline, the placement of holes or slots for fixation systems as well as the insertion of patterns and perforations at various points to customize the design. This ensures good ventilation and a light weight.

The know-how required to design an orthosis remains entirely with the practitioner. Time-consuming coordination with external service providers in service production is eliminated.

The 3D printing of the orthosis then takes place on your own printer or via a c-fab. You can also find manufacturing service providers for your orthosis on the Mecuris Solution Platform:

If you are interested in this topic in more detail, we recommend the

The webinar by our colleague Jannis also offers valuable insights on this topic:

You want a personal demo of the tools on the Mecuris Solution Platform? You can see availabilities for a personal call right here.


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