3D printers are being used to produce insoles and splints which could help millions of people with disabling foot and ankle conditions.
A team at Glasgow Caledonian University is “printing” devices which are more supportive and quicker to make.
Normally, making foot and ankle splints is a long and laborious process – a model of the foot is made, often from plaster, then plastic is moulded around it by hand.
This process can take anywhere up to six weeks, with patients waiting in considerable pain.
Prof Jim Woodburn, a specialist in foot problems at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “Our goal is based on, for example, the Specsavers model so what we would like to do is ideally provide the patient with the device on the day.”
The team are using 3D printers to build foot and ankle supports with a new degree of precision.