Comparing the traditional method vs. the digital 3D scanning method
If your company is using traditional plaster casting and measuring methods, you may be facing challenges similar to those faced by some of your competitors in the industry. Scaling up production can sometimes seem impossible without an increase of staff members on your payroll.
But it is possible to optimize your workflow so you can fabricate more with less. This is where the digital method using 3D scanning comes into play and is changing the game for the orthotics and prosthetics market.
In this blog post, we go through the top 5 benefits of 3D scanning human body parts for your central fabrication by comparing them to the traditional method.
Manual measurements may not be adequate for the design process. Because traditional measuring methods are time-consuming, orthotists and prosthetists have their methods, resulting in data discrepancies for each professional.
Because 3D scanning generates a digital scan of the body part, clinicians have access to the entire shape of the body part, which is compatible with CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, making the design process more straightforward. This means everyone uses the same method and gets the same results for greater consistency faster.
Since the order form must be filled out by hand in the traditional method, the clinician may only enter the data they wish to. Due to their incomplete order forms, the clinicians and C-Fabs engage in a time-consuming back-and-forth process.
With a digital method, C-Fabs may connect their order forms straight into the scanning software and make the fields mandatory and even create custom fields. Clinicians must correctly complete every field on their order form before sending it to the C-Fab. Everyone gains time, which improves the effectiveness of the process.
Storage & shipping
All plaster casts received by a C-Fab must be stored in a room or warehouse, increasing fixed costs. Casts and foam boxes are also heavy and fragile items. This means that they can be damaged easily when shipped and involve additional shipping costs because of the weight.
Every digital cast is saved in a computer or server, freeing up space like never before and lowering fixed costs, which increases the profitability of your business. With 3D scanning, casts are digital. This means that they can’t be damaged when they are sent to a C-Fab and it allows to save money from shipping.
The traditional method will limit your marketing options with no custom options to offer your customers. It is also hard to reach out to clients from outside of your local area.
With 3D scanning, you will be able to create your own custom-tailored 3D scanning app that your clients can download and use, thereby establishing a strong, professional corporate image. That’s a novel way to stand out from the crowd and gain trust. Plus, you can easily reach out to customers worldwide.
Traditional methods require many production steps: fabric cutting, molding, milling, and sandblasting. Plus, these steps generate material waste that cannot always be reused. This is inefficient because it takes longer and requires more material than is necessary. Furthermore, this material waste accumulates, which is harmful to the environment.
You can avoid material waste by building the product layer upon layer with 3D printing. If technology does not achieve all the work for you and you still need to use sand or mill the product, the generated trash can be reused by the 3D printer, resulting in a waste-free process that optimizes your resources.
Although 3D scanning of human body parts is a relatively new technology, it has already shown great promise for businesses in a variety of industries. If you’re curious about how 3D scanning can benefit your business or would like to see a demo of the technology in action, contact us today. We would be happy to answer any questions you have and show you how this exciting new technology can help improve your workflow.