Those who have diabetes are at a much higher risk for a number of problems including with their feet, so these shoe inserts are created using a customized method to ensure optimal foot health.
Being developed through the LAUF project (laser-assisted construction of customized footwear), the shoe insoles are created by scanning the foot of a patient and identifying where less or more support is required. The data is then used by a 3D printer to melt thermoplastic polyurethane powder to create the insoles a single layer at a time. This process allows the rigidity of the shoe inserts to be customized to be softer or harder, depending on need or preference of the patient. The technology is purported to likely be ready for commercial use within the next two years.