White Paper

3D Printing Rigid Insole Shells Using Fuse 1+ 30W and Nylon 11 Powder

Learn how to produce strong, ductile insole shells exceeding 4 million bend cycles with Formlabs’ compact, affordable SLS ecosystem.

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Workflow
    1. Scan
    2. Design
    3. Print
    4. Post-process
    5. Complete the Insole Assembly
    6. Modify
  • Biocompatibility
  • Limitations
    1. Material
    2. Orientation
    3. Build Volume
  • Get Started With 3D Printed Insoles


An insole is an orthotic device that is used to help correct or support patients with abnormal foot posture. Here, we present a workflow for designing and producing a custom insole shell – a critical component of the finished insole – using a 3D scanner, a Fuse 1+ 30W SLS 3D printer equipped with an inert atmospheric control, and Nylon 11 Powder.


The digital workflow begins with a scan of a foot. The increasing adoption of digital scanning in podiatry has led to the development of fast, accurate scanners that don’t require extensive CAD knowledge to use.
Scans are most often taken directly of the patient, but in some instances, it may be desirable to take a traditional plaster or foam cast of the patient and scan that model instead. The chosen scanning method and device must both be compatible with the CAD software being used for design. Most scanners for this application come in one of these four formats; iPhone/LIDAR- based, handheld, pressure plate, or gait scanner. More information on choosing the best scanner for this application can be found here.

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