Thanks to 3D printing, a toddler with cerebral palsy took her first independent steps. These “magic shoes” help Eve Darcy overcome her physical disability that makes it extra difficult for her to walk more than a few steps at a time. Her parents looking into a local startup, AbilityMate, which is a small company west of Sydney Australia. AbilityMate is a group of designers, engineers, and allied health professionals who specialize in 3D printing custom mobility equipment. This company sets itself about from others because their main focus is children’s shoes.
First measurements are taken of the child’s foot using 3D scanners, then the data is sent off to a 3D printer nearby. The Magic Shoes are then manufactured using state of the art equipment and can be fitted to the child within a few days. The potential for the technology is endless, and the company may be starting with ankle foot orthotics but plan to move on to other ideas. AbilityMate is in the process of building an online platform enabling approved 3D printing hubs around the world to register and get paid to make assistive devices like Magic Shoes. The company has also launched a search for 30 children for fit the criteria to help test Magic Shoes. Ideas like this are what prove 3DShoes.com is on the right track.