How a Custom AFO is Made : Vacuum Forming Process

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The video above talks about some key points in the process to custom make an AFO.  This is a very important stage in the fabrication of these walking aids.

The video above will help to answer the following questions :

1.) How hot is the plastic heated to make a custom AFO?

2.) What is used to help the vacuum forming process before the plastic is placed on the cast?

3.) How is an AFO shape made so precise?

4.) How do you know when the plastic is ready to vacuum form an AFO?

5.) How is an AFO made unique to each person?

6.) What are the stage of AFO fabrication?

7.) What does it mean when you “pull” an AFO?

The following video has a transcription available as well in case you need it.

(The next phase in the process is known as Vacuum Forming, or “pulling plastic” over an AFO cast. Let’s take a look)

Here we have an AFO cast, we have it lined with nylon and it acts as a wick.  And what you will see is that we can “pull” (the plastic) in the vacuum forming process. This is our next stage in a fabrication after the AFO cast has been modified and we have added clearance at the ankle bones and checked our measurements , and made sure that the foot shape looks correct etc. So this is our next part to the fabrication process, this is called “pulling an AFO”.

We are going to put our plastic into the oven here. I see it is hot in there and what do we usually put the oven at is approximately 400 (degrees). This is an industrial oven (made for heating plastic) and we will close it (the door).

Here is the plastic, it is not quite ready yet, but when you closely look at it, some of it is  more white over here than it is here. This is more transparent. We want the whole thing to look like this (transparent) before the we can actually pull our AFO. We are going to put it back in the oven here.

Now we are going to open up the oven and if you take a closer look at our plastic, it is much more transparent and so it is now ready to be vacuum formed. So we are going to take this out and we are going to videotape the process when you are ready.

2020-10-21T00:55:26+00:00By |Categories: AFO Braces / Foot Drop|