A few years ago, Kersten Revalidatietechniek, a Dutch manufacturer of customized products for the disabled decided to expand its business. Kersten was already making high-quality products which allowed persons with limited physical abilities to enjoy life to the fullest. For example, the company was famous for customizing automobiles to give the disabled the autonomy a car can provide.
To expand its product line, the company wanted to begin manufacturing custom mattresses for the disabled: both for the wheelchair and the bed. After doing preliminary research on available technology and designing a manufacturing process, the company chose to purchase an Artec L scanner and started work.
- A patient arrives at the Kersten facility or a staff member goes to the patient’s home.
- A special vacuum mattress is used.
- A patient lays or sits on this mattress and the air is sucked out. This leaves the mattress in the shape of the individual’s back.
- The mattress is then scanned using an Artec L scanner and the 3D model is imported into VX software (developed by ZW3D). Scanning takes less than 5 minutes and total post-processing time is around 20 minutes for each bed mattress or 10 minutes for a seat mattress.
- In the software, the scanned file is made into a proper CAD file and is ready to be milled.
- The CAD model is imported into Eureka software which is used to automatically create a sensible path for the milling machine.
- The model is then milled by a Motoman robot (model – Es165N).
- To mill a customized mattress takes approximately 1.5 hours.