Delcam software prompts success for new orthotics company
One of the first users of Delcam's OrthoModel software for the design and manufacture of orthotics was Colorado-based Mile High Orthotics Lab, a new business started by two experienced industry professionals, Greg Armstrong and Mark McMahon. The software has played a big part in the early success of the new venture.
"We wanted to start our own orthotics lab and needed software that could help our design and manufacturing processes,” remembered Mr. Armstrong. "We approached Delcam to see if the company offered anything because we had heard about its other products for the footwear industry. Our timing was perfect – the staff there had just prepared a beta version of the OrthoModel software and were looking for orthotics companies to help with the final stage of its development.”
"We acquired a scanner and a router, and began using the OrthoModel software in November last year,” he continued. "Since then, we haven’t looked back. We produced 200 pairs of orthotics in the first month, and became profitable in only six months.”
While Mile High Orthotics Lab is certain that it couldn’t have been so successful without the OrthoModel software, Maida Koller from Delcam is equally convinced about the importance of collaborators from the industry in its development. "We like to test all our software in real applications, with real deadlines before we release it,” Ms. Koller explained. "This is an essential part of the development process. It ensures that the software works in the way that we expect and also enables us to test the ease of use for people that might be experts in their industry but that might not have previous experience of computer-aided design and manufacturing.”
OrthoModel is a highly-automated system for the design and manufacture of orthotic insoles. The software provides a complete solution, from the import of scanned data from the customer to the machining of the orthotic, that will produce high-quality insoles for both the comfort and medical markets.
The complete OrthoModel process is driven by a series of easy-to-use menus that incorporate the specific terminology used in the industry to describe the various features of the orthotic. This ensures that the system can be used by technicians in the industry without any need for extensive training in general CADCAM technology.
The software is also completely "open” in that it can take data from any scanning system or use manual measurements, and can output machining instructions to any milling machine. Delcam is happy to recommend the type of equipment that is required to companies that are new to computer-aided manufacturing.
Once the customer’s details have been imported, OrthoModel includes a full range of options to design the orthotic, including features such as Kirby skive, cobra cut-out, deep heel cups and medial arch flange. Text and logos can be added to the design to engrave customer details and/or company information.
OrthoModel can then arrange a series of orthotics inside a block to give the most efficient use of material and automatically add the machining tabs needed to hold the items in place during machining. The complete set of toolpaths for the group of items can then be created automatically. The resulting toolpaths can be simulated on the computer to check that the results are exactly as required.
Using OrthoModel reduces the time needed to prepare orthotics so giving the faster turn-around times that customers demand. In addition, the use of computer-based design and manufacturing techniques brings huge benefits in accuracy and quality.