We believe 3D technology has the ability to help people access the custom-made orthoses they need, when they need them.
Mel Fuller, Johan DuPlessis, and the AbilityMade team met running workshops on inclusive design at Sydney makerspaces in 2015.
The workshops connected people with disabilities and passionate makers, to co-design solutions for real-world challenges. After repeatedly meeting children and parents who struggled with the process of plaster-casting for orthoses, we founded AbilityMade to tackle this problem.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates there to be 100 million people world-wide who need Orthoses & Prosthetics and currently only 1 in 10 receive them. We believe that 3D technologies will help bridge that divide!
For the last 4 years, AbilityMade has been testing and validating the use of 3D technology in manufacturing lower-limb orthotics. Our goal is to ensure we are delivering the best-possible patient outcomes by working with medical professionals.
Our research has been conducted with support and collaboration from non-profits, universities, and global-leaders in orthotics and prosthetics. Bringing together diverse skill-sets and expertise we have been able to test and validate the use of new technologies for orthoses.
This cross-industry collaboration has enabled us to:
- complete an official medical study, researching the clinical effectiveness of 3D printed orthoses and psychological benefits of 3D scanning
- conduct extensive mechanical testing, ensuring our 3D printed orthoses are safe and reliable
-develop a mechanical testing device specifically for lower-limb orthoses which we continue to test all our devices on. So far a single device has undergone 1 million cycles of dorsiflexion (bending at the ankle)!
-launch Australia's first purpose-built instantaneous scanner for the orthotics industry
We are deeply thankful to the many organisations who have supported our vision.
From 2016 - 2018 our R&D Project Partners joined forces to research & develop 3D scanning technologies and 3D printed AFOs. The project included a clinical research project and extensive mechanical testing.
The project was generously funded by the Australian philanthropic community and 350 crowd-funding backers. Many people contributed their time and expertise to support the vision.
Kin Ly, Senior Product Designer, AbilityMade
Liz Forsyth, Executive Director, Northcott Innovation