The benefits of 3D scanning in orthotics clinics

June 22, 2022
6 min

In the last decade, 3D scanning became a tool popularized in orthotics and prosthetics. However, many understandable reasons are still mentioned for not using 3D scanner:

  • “I don’t know exactly how it works.” 
  • “It’s too complicated. I am not comfortable with the technology.” 
  • “It’s easier and faster to keep the method I’ve mastered.” 
  • “I don’t think that its accurate enough.” 
  • “It’s too expensive.” 

Indeed, 3D scanning is an appealing solution, but it can seem a big obstacle when not being used to technology or when not wanting to increase operational costs. Below are detailed the benefits of 3D scanning in different areas of orthotics/prosthetics and we have highlighted the advantages in the context of social distancing. 

StepPart of the step Traditional method 3D scanning 
CaptureTime≈30 min ≈3 min 
ProximityNeed to touch the patient No need to touch: distance >0.3m 
MaterialFoam Box 
Plaster of Paris 
Caliper/measuring tape 
3D scanner + software 
CleanessPlaster is messy, need to clean the room No dirt
Accuracy/errors According to clinician experience Accuracy < 3mm 
Error easy to see in preview of the 3D model 
Post-processMeasurement time 1h10 min or less
DesignUneasy to use in CAD/CAM software Easy to use in CAD/CAM software 
Design time3h30 min or less
Accuracy/errors Depending on clinicians 
Errors can be added to errors from capture 
Depending on capture 
No error addition (more uniformity) 
ProductionShipping to MailEmail/cloud
Shipping time 2-3 days5 seconds
Traditional method3D scanning
CustomersNormal feeling 
Normal traffic 
Impressed with technology 
More clients in 1 day 
MaterialInitial: No cost 
Each patient: $$ 
Initial: Medium (iPhone or iPad+Structure Sensor needed) 
Each patient: $ 
Post-ProcessingIn clinics In clinics or Remote 
StorageRoom/warehouse Computer/server 
Central of fabrication Local areaWherever you want 
SupplierEasier to have only one supplier Easy to have multiple suppliers 
TreatmentUnable to monitor evolution/improvement 
Uneasy to redo the same exact product 
Able to monitor evolution/improvement 
Easy to redo the same product 
Insurance/Medicare/etc… Not much data and information 
Limited fully custom product = Less reimbursement 
Give accurate data and more information 
Better for fully custom product = Best reimbursement 
EcologyLot of wasteFree of waste
ShippingCasts/Foam box can be damaged No damage to digital files 

Now that social distancing is part of our life, considering a digital solution to replace Plaster of Paris can be a good solution to this situation. Are you asking yourself what are the advantages of choosing TechMed 3D for your digital solution? 

At Techmed 3D, we offer different solutions for you to find one that fits your needs. We have generic solutions that can be used right away, as well as customized ones that allow you to have something tailored to your needs. Moreover, we offer hands-on training, which allows you to get used to using our technology. Finally, all our solutions can be used with a “Pay per Scan” license model. Meaning that you will only be paying when using it, no need for you to have fixed recurring costs every month. 

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