The aim of this experiment is to establish a portal through which scans can be uploaded to the cloud-based software service (SaaS) and then execute remotely the CAD plug-ins and get the result back. This will allow the following use cases:
- Immediate validation in the podiatrist office of the scanned images before sending to Podoactiva avoiding rejections and delays in the design. Currently if a scanned image is not valid for the design, it can only be detected in the engineering office some days later, and the patient has to go back to the podiatrist office to repeat the scanning process. With the new workflow, the podiatrist can validate the scanned file without the need of a CAD license and while the patient is still in his office.
- Ability to run CAD plug-ins remotely during the design of the insole instead of executing them in the PC. This will allow agreements with third party designers without risking the loss of intellectual property and software piracy. It will also enable the storage of design information (sketches…) in a common repository to share with the manufacturing workshop.
- Ease the integration of Automated intelligent calculation of the insole optimal thickness using finite elements method (on-going project with the University of Zaragoza).
This experiment will therefore explore the extent to which the development of a scalable cloud-based manufacturing service supporting the lifecycle of tailored insole production can be achieved.In general, the benefits expected are:
- Easier application maintenance and versions release
- Much safer to avoid software piracy and protect IPR (no source code in users’ premises)
- Many users capable to access simultaneously to the application
- Ubiquity: Comfortable access to the application from anywhere with an internet connection
- Improved marketing and pre-sell process enabling to prospective customers everywhere demo versions through the cloud and testing periods to the software services offered.
- Reduce the expenditure and dependency on third party software licenses maximizing their exploitation.
- Availability of high volume information storage (the scanned images occupy 15-20 MB per customer)
- Possibility to use SaaS business models
Specifically, with the current scenario, the software developed should be handed over to third parties without the possibility to protect it by encryption (because they are embedded in the CAD) and IPR would be in danger. With the new cloud based model enabling remote execution, the new partners wouldn’t have access direct access to the code while enjoying all the functionalities quired. Also remote support would be much easier and HPC capabilities would also be very useful with many users accessing to the platform from many different places around the world.
Manufacturing sector: Footwear and biomechanics
Involved entities: Ingecon and Podoactiva
Podoactiva is a biotechnology-based company specialized in podiatry and biomechanics, which strives to improve the quality of people’s lives through the improvement of their gait, applying the knowledge and experience of our multidisciplinary team and innovative technology to diagnose, design and manufacture personalized treatments.
The system called 3D Scan Sport Podoactiva® was patented in Spain in 2008 with great results. It is a unique method to obtain a 3D scanned image from the foot using a laser. It was complemented with the creation of a specific software with Ingecon ("3D Scan Insole Designer") for the treatment and design of an insole from a virtual mould of the foot (the scanned image), leading to its robotic manufacture by milling a solid piece made of an exclusive polypropylene and carbon alloy Podoactiva material (Podoactiva Dynamic y Podoactiva Elastic). In 2011 this system was patented all over the world.
The input of the design program is a .stl file (STereoLithography) with the 3D scanned image of the foot of the patient (the 3D scan method is a Worldwide Patent hold by Podoactiva). This .stl file is generated in a podiatrist office and then sent to the Podoactiva to design the tailored insole. In Podoactiva, the .stl file is loaded in a CAD program and then the engineer uses the plug-ins to perform automated validations and simulations during the design process. The output is a tailored insole sketch that will be used in the manufacturing process by a CAM program and then a CNC milling machine.
- Podoactiva: firstname.lastname@example.org, Manager
- Ingecon: email@example.com, Technology Transfer, R&D Department