Collaborative Project - Digitally Fabricated (3D Printed) Ankle Foot Orthoses


A unique collaborative project focused on life-changing, 3D printed posture & mobility equipment for children with disabilities!

AbilityMate is collaborating with 6 other impact-driven organisations. We each bring a deep set of experiences, skills, IP, networks and talent to this project.  We are joining forces to overcome a number of significant challenges faced by children, parents and Orthotists in delivering effective Ankle Foot Orthoses for children with disabilities.

A Global Problem

Every 15hrs an Australian child is born with cerebral palsy making it the most common childhood physical disability in Australia. Most of these children will need to wear Orthotics throughout their life.

Without access to orthotics services, people are often confined to their homes – excluded from participating in society, and locked into poverty and isolation.

Globally 100 million kids need Orthoses and demand is exponentially outstripping supply! - World Health Organisation

The Solution

We are building upon the work of leading Orthotics clinics in Australia by utilising a completely digital approach to creating Ankle and Foot Orthoses (AFOs). We’ve been working with Orthotists, 3D scanning experts, engineers and families of children with Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities to create AFOs in a human-centred way. We are developing a 3D scanner that takes a digital mould of a leg in seconds, we then model it to a prescription and 3D print the Orthoses. We have already seen promising results and now we are taking this project to the next level.

The Project

Ultimately our vision is to use technology to become a provider of the highest quality assistive devices at a fraction of today's’ cost. To get there we need to ensure that the products, processes and technologies we are employing meet the needs, expectations and standards of all of our stakeholders in the community and most importantly the kids and health care providers. We are embarking on a clinical trial, once completed we will start making 3D printed AFOs available to Australian children, share the data and then create a open-source package providing transparency for global collaboration and continual innovation. 

This study is being conducted in compliance with Good Clinical Practice, Therapeutic Goods Administration and a protocol which has been approved by Nepean Blue Mountains Health District Research Ethics Committee.

Expected Project Outcomes  

We are aiming for technologies developed throughout the project to present the following outcomes:

Improvement in turnaround times from 4 weeks to as little as 48 hours

Increased efficiency of Orthotists by 400-600% freeing them up to help more children

Better experiences for children through the development of a child-centric 3D scanner which fundamentally changes their experience

These aims are being measured throughout the clinical study. 

Get Involved

As a part of this project we are running a clinical trial, piloting services, building awesome technology, open-sourcing, conducting regulatory affairs and holding co-creation events. If you want to get involved we’d love to hear from you!

Trial Family

We are looking for 20- 30 families to be part of the clinical trial. If your child is 2-8 years old, meets a strict inclusion criteria, needs Ankle Foot Orthoses and can make it to Sydney, we'd like to hear from you. 


You're the experts and we want to include you. We run webinars, co-creation events and happy to pay you a visit in person. Apply now to start a conversation.




Research Partner

We are looking for research partners to help make 3D Printed Orthoses available to the world.



Power of the community!

In November 2016 AbilityMate launched a month long crowd-funding campaign to raise vital funds for this project. The campaign was kickstarted with $10,000 from ING Direct’s Dreamstarter program. Our goal was to raise $20,000 in 4 weeks, within the first 12 hours the community had contributed $45,000 to the project. By the end of the campaign we had successfully raised $95,000 in online and offline donations! 310 community backers have helped us get this project underway. Thanks to them we are on our way making life-changing, 3D printed Orthotses available to children with disabilities. To our supporters we thank you! Your generosity not only provided vital funds but gave us a major confidence boost!

Read our blog, watch our video and have a play with our 3D AFO below:

Donate and support us!