3D printer to be officially unveiled at the Royal College of Podiatry Conference

Liverpool City Region-based firm chosen to scale up revolutionary new product that is set to transform the lower limb healthcare sector

3D printer to be officially unveiled at the Royal College of Podiatry Conference at ACC Liverpool on July 7-9

Liverpool City Region-based company, Algeos, has been chosen to take a revolutionary new product to the UK and Australian market that is set to transform the lower limb healthcare sector.

The firm has been announced as a UK exclusive distributor of the Voxelcare VXC3DP Filament Cube printing unit, which enables clinicians to print foot orthotics and other materials in house in half the time, reducing waste and manufacturing time - so better for the planet - and reduce NHS waiting lists in the process. The printing unit is ideal for private practice and clinical business development, and is also scalable for fast-paced orthotic manufacturers.

The printing unit contains a 3D printer that can operate as its own system, and will be officially unveiled at the Royal College of Podiatry Conference at ACC Liverpool on July 7-9. 

Algeos is a world-leading innovator and manufacturer of podiatry, orthotics and footwear products and technologies, and has been keeping people moving for 140 years. With a global customer base and supplying 85% of the 295 NHS trusts across the UK, Algeos is in a unique position to take the product and scale it up very quickly for the lower limb healthcare sector.

Algeos managing director, Max Sheridan, says the product will be key in reducing amputation rates among diabetic patients through prevention. Diabetes is a leading cause of amputation.

Max Sheridan, Algeos managing director, said:

"It is testimony to our standing and reputation in the sector as an industry-leading innovator of patient-focused clinical products and technologies, that Algeos has been chosen to expand awareness of this revolutionary new product across the UK and Australia. 

"As well as treating a wide range of conditions, this kit will also go a long way in helping diabetic patients and preventing future amputations and complications. For me, this is all about prevention rather than wound management and rehabilitation, and we are keen to buck the trend in the sector. There is so much evidence out there that shows how foot orthotics can help offload pressure for diabetic patients - in turn saving limbs and ultimately saving lives. We will work with MSK clinicians as well as the patient to make sure they make the right choices in terms of the orthotic care they receive.

“The foot orthotics created by the technology will be lightweight, making them ideal for sportspeople including cyclists, golfers, runners and triathletes. They will be slim, lightweight, and able to insert easily into all different types of sports footwear.” 

Discussing the clinical outcomes of the 3D printing unit, Max also highlighted how it will help provide a new revenue stream for private clinicians and business development managers looking to increase ROI. 

Max added: 

“With the production of foot orthotics, we’re starting to see a big demand from private clinics and physicians looking to take the Voxelcare VXC3DP Filament Cube printing unit on and adopt the new technology. 

“Due to the unique scanning options that can be used on iPad, iPhone and a laptop, the 3D printer is ideal for clinical retail, private practices, and the NHS. The production of foot orthotics is a rapidly growing market, and we are hoping to expand awareness of this new, cost-effective product across the UK and Australia.”

Simon McClements, international business development manager, Voxelcare, said:

“I have known Max for around eight years now, and when we first spoke about a collaboration between Algeos and Voxelcare, it just felt natural. Max quickly understood our vision, and with Algeos’ vast experience and reputation in the UK market, it became a solid partnership for distribution. Over the years, the knowledge of the team at Algeos has helped Voxelcare learn how to approach things, specifically with how markets differ around the world. They have been excellent at extending the Voxelcare network. 

“Each new system in the UK brings value to the growth and innovation of Voxelcare, as we are a company who listens to feedback, and uses it constructively to continue innovation. We have just recently renewed our partnership contract with Algeos, and we look forward to working with them for many more years to come.”

Discussing the product, Simon McClements, said: 

“We have been working on this for nearly four years now. We decided to venture into this technology as we realised that 3D printing was no longer just a buzzword, and was here to stay. At first, we saw some challenges, and how the industry wanted 3D printer manufacturing to be delivered in a more centralised way. But, we wanted to provide a solution at the point of sale, allowing users to have full control over the Scan-Design-Produce workflow for printed insoles.

“Through our research we decided to develop our very own 3D printer from scratch, as well as our own slicing software. This allowed us to put something into the market that is tailored specifically to insole manufacture, with the Voxelcare touch.

“The technology is FDM and we use a proprietary TPU for the filament, available in a number of colours. You can buy just one printer to get started, as they come in cubes, or you can easily scale your production by adding additional cubes. We also supply a number of base unit options for the printers to stand on, and they can be stacked on one another. So, creating a print wall or farm is also possible, depending on requirements.

“The benefits of this type of technology means that 3D printing can be done in-house, and due to the low noise and it being dust-free, you can have this in a clinic or a shop environment, which is a great conversation starter too. Other benefits include reduced energy consumption and significantly less waste, which also has the capacity to be recycled.

“From a software point of view, we have created simple features in our online platform that allow users to choose variable hardness, based on zones or prescription modules. So, even with one material going into the printer, you can get a device with mixed hardness coming out.

“We firmly believe we have created a product that, when combined with our existing technology, can offer our customers a complete in-house 3D print production system that challenges the myths of cost, speed, quality, control and accessibility over centralised fabrication models.”

With 140 years of technological expertise and knowledge, Algeos has big ambitions to grow in the next three years, breaking into untapped markets, generating profitable growth and retaining its status as an industry leader.

Using the latest in podiatry and orthotic technologies, Algeos’ sole focus has always been to enable people to return to a mobile life as soon as they can.


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