However, there are some problems that need to be solved for this to go mainstream:
- Either affordable 3D scanners with sufficient accuracy or better algorithms can make this happen with something like LeapMotion/Kinect in order to get the required 3D scan
- Open source modeling software, which I believe is already available. But you'd still need some finite element modeling to determine the shape of the brace.
- Affordable 3D printers with a sufficiently large work envelope to fit a brace that fits a human torso. A major downside is that the torso is so voluminous, which means it might not be able to fit multiple braces at the same time, which kills productivity. Making it modular would obviously help solve this problem, but then you require assembly afterwards and a new design that allows this.
- Affordable printing material, because you're not going to make this thing out of ABS. Some of the 3D printed material also has the property of being brittle, which you wouldn't want in a brace. But I'm by no means a material expert.
- Convincing orthopedic professionals to give up their old way of working and embracing your technique. This might be the hardest of all, if only because there are so many factors involved. Is your method affordable enough, is it fast enough, is it reliable, how much re-schooling is required to able to use this technique?
Regardless of all these points I still think it should be done, because prices will go down, we'll get cheaper and better materials and eventually it'll be nonsensical to do all this work by hand. So we better get started and be ready when all the pieces fall into place.
Sure 3d printing and 3d scanning would help build a right fitting devices and improve quality of life