3D Printed Orthotics: 7 Most Promising Projects in 2020

This is another orthotic device designed with children in mind. In particular, it’s for kids who have difficulties walking and standing.


When he was 3 years old, Nik Vlašič was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Even at the age of 7, he was unable to stand or walk without help. The turning point came for him with custom-made ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) and physical therapy, which allowed him to walk independently.

In order to help his son, Nik’s father, Matej, used a Formlabs Form 2 printer to create several AFO prototypes that would fit inside the child’s shoes. It took half a year to perfect the prototypes, and the custom-made orthotics were a perfect, blister-free fit.

This was a breakthrough: Normal AFOs cost around $5,000, while Matej’s cost around $15.

Influenced by Nik’s progress, professional studies were conducted to evaluate the device’s performance. They verified the AFO’s positive impacts, which lead Nik’s parents to team up with his physiotherapist Dejan Tašner to provide diagnostic treatment and further develop AFOs. Under the company Animake, the team aims to help other children in need of custom AFOs, which can prevent, eliminate, or ease various disorders.

(Lead image source: Hello Xkelet via YouTube)

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