HeyGears improves patient outcomes by 3D printing orthotics with HP Multi Jet Fusion

HP Multi Jet Fusion’s design freedom allows HeyGears to create customized 3D orthotic devices.



Healthcare: Orthotics and prosthetics


HP 3D High Reusability2 PA 12


To produce a more comfortable orthotics solution for the rehabilitation market.



HP Multi Jet Fusion technology

HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D Printer


With HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology, HeyGears can create orthotics and prosthetics based on patients’ individual needs.



The importance of design freedom when 3D printing orthotics

HeyGears is an innovation-driven technology company whose core competencies are 3D printing applications and digital intelligent manufacturing technologies. HeyGears’ vast digital manufacturing solutions, services, and business models have been applied in orthopedics, dentistry, consumer goods, and electronics.

According to HeyGears, traditional orthosis manufacturing processes with materials like plaster can be complicated and often result in parts with poor precision, causing uneven pressure on the tissue and friction that can lead to redness and blisters on the skin. To ensure proper treatment and recovery from injuries, patients need orthotic devices that are both static and dynamic, as well as breathable and comfortable.

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“HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology offers high design freedom when it comes to functional end products with movable parts, which is especially important in the orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) market where customization and functional parts are required.”

Heyuan Huang, Co-Founder and EVP, HeyGears


Comfortable, adjustable 3D orthotics with HP Multi Jet Fusion

HeyGears installed their first HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D Printing Solution in September 2019 to produce lightweight and precise 3D printed custom orthotic devices in large builds.
One of HeyGears’ early projects with HP MJF involved creating custom 3D printed orthotics to fixate the forearm and aid in rehabilitation.

To create such a device, HeyGears scanned the patient’s forearm and designed an orthosis to complement the patient’s anatomy. They added additional delicate designs to improve the fixation effect and comfort of the 3D printed orthotic.

HeyGears was also able to create a 3D orthotic with a unique adjustable design that easily positions a patient’s wrist at different angles, ensuring movement of the wrist joint as well as gradual correction and protection of the joint.

Traditional materials such as plaster and some polymers resulted in heavy orthotic devices that did not breathe well, making it difficult for the physician to adjust and clean. But 3D printed orthotics made with HP 3D HR PA 12 can be adjusted by the patient, reducing the number of necessary visits with the physician.

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3D printing orthotics leads to innovative treatment methods

Overall, HeyGears considers design freedom and quality materials to be the two main advantages to 3D printing orthotics with HP Multi Jet Fusion technology.

"Design freedom (with HP Multi Jet Fusion) allows us to think differently and put multiple functional parts into one product, which also saves on assembly costs," Huang said.

"The personalized design, fixing method, and the additional adjustable structures can effectively prevent problems such as muscle atrophy, skin discomfort, and nerve and blood vessel compression," said Dr. Zhao. "The use of 3D printing technology to create 3D printed custom orthotics and replacing traditional methods enable patients to obtain the latest treatment options and the best medical experience."

"As a 3D printing application development company, we think that (HP) MJF provides us with the tools enabling us to open up to new markets as we are seeing promising growth of customizable orthotics and prosthetics," said Huang. “We believe that working with HP on developing a whole-chain solution can lead to growth in orthotics and prosthetics."

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  1. All images data courtesy of HeyGears
  2. HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solutions using HP 3D High Reusability PA 12 provide up to 80% powder reusability ratio, producing functional parts batch after batch. For testing, material is aged in real printing conditions and powder is tracked by generations (worst case for reusability). Parts are then made from each generation and tested for mechanical properties and accuracy.