Industrial - Bachelors


Supportics is a portable hand-held device designed to help with the scanning and prescription process of foot orthotic devices for patients in remote areas of Australia. The device provides a stable and accurate solution for taking pictures specific to 3D image modelling software.

topic of exploration

In more isolated areas of Australia, podiatry and orthodontist practices have limited patient treatment resources (Ridgewell et al., 2021). Thus, for this final capstone project, improving the accessibility and functionality of foot orthotic devices in remote areas of Australia was explored. Professor Marinella Chamorro-Koc introduced the project. The project brief aims at improving the performance and accuracy of scanning feet using the emerging 3D modelling software Photogrammetry. The idea was to implement a hand-held device that would help take quality and accurate pictures of the patient’s feet for the photogrammetry software. These 3D models would then be sent to a third party to manufacture orthotic devices (insoles) for needy patients. Photogrammetry is an affordable and accessible popular software that helps make 3D models of people’s feet.


Primary and secondary research was conducted to explore foot orthotics and the application of photogrammetry to the people.




Interviews were two contacts connected to Prof. Chamorro-Koc. They were PhD scholars with significant expertise in photogrammetry and orthotics for feet.

The semi-structured interviews were conducted over ZOOM for a maximum of thirty minutes. The questions focused on better understanding the project direction, understanding and developing the criteria needed for implementing the proposed design concept (support device) and finding any other details that need to be considered about the proposed concept and the needs of people in remote areas.


The observations consisted of two back-to-back sessions demonstrating the scanning process required to collect the data for orthotic devices. The two observations were different, demonstrating the scanning process with a standard three-dimensional laser scanner (Artec Leo). The second observation showcased the process of photogrammetry technology usage for foot orthotics.



Human error, such as shaking and camera movement, affects the quality of the images. The quality of the camera limits Photogrammetry and designing for the stability and easy usability of the concepts will benefit users in remote areas.


A system that allows the patient to track and monitor the surface condition of their feet could also benefit outside practitioners or health careers for treatment.


It was proposed that people in remote areas would have the design concept delivered to them and operated by them or third-party supporters who could assist with scanning photogrammetry software. Thus, the design must be easy to assemble and transport.

research report

DNB311 RESEARCH REPORT | Exploration of scanning for foot orthoses in remote areas
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Supportics is a solution to improving access and quality of foot orthotic wear in remote areas of Australia by providing an accessible and efficient experience for patients and carers.

Specialised care in podiatry and orthotics is understood to be limited in areas with less population and resources (such as facilities and podiatrists). Supportics improves this problem by streamlining and implementing a system that encourages, includes and educates individuals on foot health care by reducing patient travel time and the pressure of finding comfortable footwear to treat their ailments. Supportics relieves the pressure, cost and injury by having their appointment come to them.

Supportics provides a quicker and easier solution to developing orthotic devices in remote areas regardless of the health practitioner’s expertise. By incorporating Bluetooth connection with the phone and an app interface, the user better understands their patient and requirements for taking quality pictures for 3D image modelling.


The primary user of this product would be any layperson. They would not need to be experts in podiatry or orthotics, just the nearest health practitioners who most likely would have an existing relationship with the clients in those remote areas.


Light and fun colours were used to brighten the aesthetics of the design and make it more user-friendly and inviting for patients and users. The design is simple, round-edged, and curved for easy holding and transport. It is also designed to be compact and not require any additional assembly.

Designed to eliminate human error, such as blurriness and inconsistent photos. The device is equipped with a laser distance sensor and
a retractable handle that adjusts to various sizes of smartphones to keep the phone stable.


The context of use for the patient is not exclusive to one area. However, the best place identified would be in the residence’s home/room with a bed or chair on which they can rest their legs. A nearby clinic or common place where both people feel comfortable is also viable.

The place for the scan needs to be bright and not have cluttered objects or moving parts in the background. Thus, an empty wall and suitable ceiling lighting would suffice. Avoid inconsistent lighting regarding natural light (sun) and dark colours around the foot.

app interface

Supportics has an additional app interface that helps create quality pictures for the photogrammetry software. The app is equipped with a tutorial to teach end users how to scan the feet for the patient. The app connects to the device through Bluetooth. It demonstrates, in real-time, the distance and number of pictures from different angles that need to be taken. The app also stores the photos and client information. Information such as location, scale of foot and comments/feedback from the clients is recorded in the device for improvement.


There is an idealised system and implementation of the Supportics device to improve health care for people in remote areas needing foot orthotic devices.

Supportics: how to use?

design process

Ideation and initial concepts

Below are the initial concepts from my opportunities and research. Sketches of initial concepts were developed from the opportunities identified above. The device was introduced at the start of the project, and most of the concepts incorporate some similarities. Most of the designs address portability as a hand-held device. Additional screens, buttons and voice interfaces were introduced to store data from the scans or help with picture-taking (instructions). The grasp concept design was my the design chosen to further explore.

Design development

Prototype development

Find more information and thinking process in my DDR!

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Milli Mehari Abraha

Hello, I'm an industrial design student at QUT, minoring in Visual Communication. My skills in collaboration and curiosity have allowed me to pursue multiple design disciplines. Designing encourages me to be passionate about my life and family. I intend to make inclusive and diverse designs that contribute positively to communities.