Jon Seeks a Service

Fabbaloo reader Jon writes:

I have a pair of orthotic shoe inserts that are maybe a foot long and 4 inches wide. They are made out of a hard plastic. Do you think they can be scanned and “printed” in a softer, more rubbery plastic? … I switched health insurance companies and my new provider doesn’t cover orthotics. Podiatrist says it costs $550!

Our immediate thoughts were:


  • You’d need access to a 3D scanner, 3D modeling software and 3D printer. For a one-time consumer like Jon, a service would be a far better option than purchasing
  • The printer must have a fairly large build chamber, due to the size of the object and because it should be in one piece rather than assembled from multiple pieces
  • The 3D printer must be able to print a “soft rubbery material”
  • The print resolution would not have to be terribly precise, because the object is going to be hidden in Jon’s shoe. It just has to be smoothish
  • The “soft material” would have to be fairly robust, as it’s going to be trodden upon by Jon every day

Now what? We issue a challenge to Fabbaloo readers: what is the best combination of services (scan, tweak and print) that can do the job for Jon? Is this possible to do at all (we’re wondering most about the rubbery material)? Or is it possible but not for less than US$550?

Please post your answer in the comments.

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