User Guide for new 3D printed custom orthotics

Your 3D printed custom orthotics have been designed and manufactured just for you, using state-of-the-art 3D printing technology by HP. Introduce your feet to these new orthotics following this schedule:

Day 1:           1 hour

Day 2:          2 hours

Days 3&4:  4-9 hours

Day 5+:       Unlimited

If you experience any discomfort, contact your healthcare practitioner immediately.

How to care for your 3D printed custom orthotic

Wash your orthotics by hand in warm water using a mild soap. Rinse with warm water. Do NOT wash in a washing machine, dishwasher or use hot water.

Dry your orthotics on their side, away from any heat source. Do NOT place your orthotic in a dryer, near a radiator or use a hair dryer.

How long will a 3D printed custom orthotic last?

Our 3D printed custom orthotics are manufactured to the specifications of each patients’ weight and pressure/timing during gait for control, comfort and durability. Each pair of custom orthotics from Go 4-D has a 90-day patient satisfaction guarantee and a 2-year product warranty, with an expected lifespan of 3-5 years dependent on wear and type of use.

Should I wear my orthotics all day?

Your new 3D printed custom orthotics will activate your muscles and joints to move in a new, more balanced pattern. While this is beneficial, it is also new, which means that there is a period of adjustment for your body to get used to this preferred path of movement.

When you first start wearing your 3D printed custom orthotics, or if you have not worn them for a while, you should follow the instructions under the User Guide tab..

What to expect during a foot exam

Health care is considered a science and an art, which means that every healthcare practitioner will have a unique examination approach. Foot specialists who work with Go 4-D will all use gold standard technology, along with their clinical expertise and experience.

You can expect the foot specialist to conduct a health history, it is important that you include as much information as possible including injuries, surgeries in the lower limb (back, hip, knee, ankle and foot), as well as systemic diseases such as diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus or fibromyalgia, and neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, distal neuropathies (hand or foot), Parkinson’s, or history of a stroke.

In addition to your health history, tell your foot specialist about your lifestyle and activities while at work at during your leisure time.

After the health history, the foot specialist will examine your foot before conducting a static 3D scan and have your walk across a pressure plate. There is no radiation used in either of these -tests. This cutting-edge technology will help your foot specialist determine if a 3D printed custom orthotic would be helpful for you, and if so, guide the precise design of the orthotics.

Conditions that orthotics may help

This is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment and should not replace assessment by a trained health professional.

Pes Planus (flat foot)

Pes planus describes a severely dropped/fallen medial longitudinal arch (inner foot). Many people have a mild drop in this arch, the difference is easy to see if the person walks in sand. A pes planus foot is completely flat, no arch in the sand print. A pes planus foot usually over-pronates, since the arch is already so close to the ground.

Pes Cavus (high arch)

This foot type is the opposite of pes planus. A pes cavus foot has a rigid, high arch, and therefore, is a poor shock absorber. A true pes cavus foot over-supinates in the rear foot, and then over-pronates in the forefoot.

Plantar fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a tough, thick band that runs along the bottom of the foot, also called the ‘plantar surface’. The fascia extends from the heel bone (calcaneus) all the way to the forefoot. The term plantar fasciitis is used when the fascia becomes inflamed.

Heel spurs:

A spur is made of bone, and usually occurs where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone (calcaneus). It may cause inflammation and pain.

Achilles tendinitis:

The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone. The term tendinitis refers to inflammation of the tendon.

Arch pain

Generalized arch pain is not an actual diagnosis and will generally not be accepted by insurance companies if a claim is sent. However, it is the complaint that many patients present with. Arch pain is usually along with arch of the inner foot (medial arch) and may be part of plantar fasciitis or tendinitis of the many muscles that run on the plantar surface of the foot.


This term describes pain along the metatarsal bones, usually the distal (far, toe-end of the bones) called the ‘head of the metatarsals’. This is where the transverse arch is located. Metatarsalgia may occur for a number of reasons, however, the most common is aging. As some adult ages beyond 35 years, the ligaments of their body become less elastic and the transverse arch collapses. The metatarsal bones start to contact the ground with every step, causing inflammation and pain.

Hallux Rigidus or Hallux Limitus (big toe movement disorders)

Pain in the big toe (also called the great toe or hallux) is often accompanied by bunions (hallux valgus). A stiff big toe (hallux limitus) may be accompanied by arthritic changes and eventually result in a lack of movement (hallux rigidus). The problem with these conditions is the effect they have on the toe-off (propulsion) phase of gait.

Shin splints (anterior tibialis or posterior tibialis tendinitis)

Pain in the front of the lower leg is often referred to shin splint. It can arise from a few causes, including inflammation of two important muscles, and their tendons, that arise from the lower leg. These are tibialis anterior, from the front of the shin bone (tibia) and tibialis posterior, from the back of the shin bone. Both of these muscles help to hold up the arch along the inside of the foot (medial arch), and therefore, become strained easily when the arch is dropping with high force.

Closed Kinetic Chain Conditions Treated with Custom Orthotics

The ‘closed kinetic chain’ can be thought of like a series of dominos. When one moves, it causes a chain reaction so that they other dominos move. In this case, the first domino is located in the foot and the chain reaction moves up to the ankle, knee, hip, pelvis and lower back.

Knee arthritis

Thousands of people suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee, also known as ‘wear and tear’ degeneration. This type of arthritis is caused by abnormal biomechanics. Perhaps it started with an injury, or perhaps repetitive stressful movements on the knee. The arthritis causes more abnormal biomechanics, creating a never-ending cycle of abnormal movement, tissue and joint damage and pain. Through the closed kinetic chain, custom orthotics are very beneficial for knee arthritis.

Patello-femoral knee pain (aka Runners knee)

This condition is characterized by pain around the knee cap (patella) and is very common. There are a number of research papers describing the excellent outcomes associated with treating patella-femoral syndrome with custom orthotics. As the foot biomechanics improve, there is a chain reaction of improved movement in the ankle and knee (closed kinetic chain).

Leg Length Discrepancy

Almost everyone has some degree of discrepancy in leg lengths. This may occur from muscle imbalances from postural habits or activities. A discrepancy may be from an injuries or surgery somewhere in the closed kinetic chain. Some people are born with one bone shorter than the one on the opposite side. Regardless of the cause, a leg length discrepancy will cause abnormal biomechanics, wear and tear on muscles, tendons and joints. A custom orthotic can be designed to address abnormal foot biomechanics and a small lift (calculated for that specific person) to even out the difference in length.

How do Orthotics work?

This question has been investigated by the most brilliant minds in biomechanics over many years and it is accepted that there are couple of ways that orthotics help people feel better.

  1. Through the nerves on the bottom of your foot, orthotics have been shown to activate muscles to move the lower limb in a more balanced path. This is one of the reasons why you need to gradually increase usage time with new orthotics, so the muscles have a chance to adapt to the new, preferred movement.
  2. Support the bones of the foot to move in a different path. For example, the orthotic may be designed to take pressure off a painful area in the heel or ball of the foot.

Why 3D printed custom orthotics?

Custom orthotics have been made manually for more than 50 years. The process is based on a static cast of your foot, using plaster or an impression in a foam box. Although patients have pain relief from orthotics made this way there is room for improvement.

Manual manufacturing only allows for one thickness of plastic to be used, which has a certain amount of stiffness. The thicker the plastic, the stiffer it is and the more control it offers. The thinner the plastic, the more flexible, and more comfortable it feels. The problem arises: how to get the perfect balance when some parts of the foot need control and other parts need softness.

3D printed custom orthotics are the solution. Our 3D printed custom orthotics allow the foot specialist to make segmental stiffness for the perfect fit, correction and comfort. The best part is how this can be done without adding thickness and bulk, so the orthotic is lightweight and fits in your shoe. The lattice-design allows for more, or less, fill within the spaces to provide more, or less, stiffness and control.