AirSelect Walking Boot
Ten years ago Farm helped DJO become a leader in the category of orthopedic therapy products by developing the innovative Aircast walking cast. In 2013, Farm is helping DJO build on that success with the creation of AirSelect, a breakthrough addition to the DJO product family that brings significant improvements in both product performance and user comfort.
Farm’s technical team, industrial designers, and human factors engineers developed the new sole design using wearable prototypes, advanced real-time testing, and computerized motion path analysis. The result is a product that helps the patient walk with a more natural gait.
Our engineers collaborated with DJO to design a unique compression pump and manifold system. The system provides easy-to-reach and operate controls and precisely distributes air pressure exactly where it’s needed to improve comfort and stability.
The previous Aircast had a sole made of rubber. For the new product, Farm engineers switched to Ethylene-vinyl Acetate (EVA), which makes the part significantly lighter and allowed us to incorporate DJO’s proprietary SoftStrike heel cushioning technology. At the same time, Farm strategically designed all of the plastic parts in AirSelect to minimize material use.
Farm created a shell design that supports DJO's long history of combining patient comfort with clinical performance. Part of that success depends on offering a wide range of sizes, creating a challenge in designing multiple shell, sole, and panel components for the various configurations. By creating a flexible and scalable CAD architecture, Farm was able to minimize engineering time for the 15 different size options required by the client.
To maximize the new walker's performance, Farm combined finite element analysis (FEA) with sophisticated rapid prototyping methods. This approach allowed the team to correlate FEA results with actual test data to accurately predict performance in the final molded and assembled product. The success of this approach was verified in testing of the first injection-molded parts.
The new AirSelect weighs 20% less than the previous DJO product, is easier to use, and offers a more comfortable experience for the patient.
XP Pneumatic Walking Brace
Aircast pioneered the use of graduated pneumatic compression as a way to more comfortably immobilize a patient’s foot inside a walking brace. After years of selling the same product into an increasingly crowded category, Aircast recognized a critical need to refresh their primary offering, and asked Farm to create a new signature product.
Our team focused on reducing part cost and weight while increasing comfort and incorporating new features, including a pneumatic pump, better ventilation, and internal geometry derived from the anatomy of the foot. Working closely with Aircast’s injection molder and using Finite Element Analysis techniques, Farm engineered highly optimized parts that were 18% lighter than those in the previous product.
At the same time, we succeeded in making the parts stronger while increasing their flexibility and achieving greater part reliability over 90,000 cycles of impact. We incorporated an ergonomic rocker sole made of lightweight composite material that offers enhanced comfort and protection while promoting more natural ambulation, and we made the foot base larger to offer ample room for dressings without sacrificing comfort. Finally, we integrated into the brace a user-adjustable air pump that allows the patient to maintain just the right amount of compressive support throughout the healing process, while maintaining comfort and stability.
Farm succeeded in significantly reducing the weight of the new cast, improved its ergonomics and performance, gave it a bold new aesthetic, and made it more cost-effective to manufacture.
The result? The launch of the new XP Walking Brace gave Aircast a 30% increase in market share.