Sharp Shape is a multi-disciplined tech company that specializes in the design and production of leading-edge foot/cast scanners, the design and implementation of foot orthotic CAD/CAM software and the integration of orthotic automation systems.
AOMS® (Automated Orthotic Manufacturing System) is the most popular custom foot orthotic production system that orthotic labs choose. Sharp Shape had a sharp vision and created the AOMS 23 years ago. Sharp Shape has been integrating the AOMS systems for more than two decades. You can visit the AOMS related products for more information.
If you are a returning visitor and want to find out what is new at Sharp Shape, you can click the ‘What’s New’ tab at the top or visit one of the following three links. In brief, three major developments are going on, e.g. the AOMS TOT iPad foot scanning approach, the associated new orthotic manufacturing process called AOMS TOT MILL, and the AOMS 3DPRN software. AOMS TOT has been out of beta testing. AOMS TOT MILL and AOMS 3DPRN are still in beta.
We understand that each system setup is unique because of its location, the type of CNC machine, and the requirements. We offer a customized system by letting you choose the device you want to carve. Depending on your need, you can choose carved mold, carved orthotic and/or carved insole. We can further tailor our system to your needs by interfacing a variety of CNC machines, such as mills and routers, and by integrating the system in your plant. We are one of the top 3D foot scanner suppliers and one of the CAD/CAM foot orthotic and insole software suppliers.
Naturally, the cost/time factor on such a project will be negotiated, but we can assure you that it will be the lowest cost, fastest time available within the industry. We can’t say that we have the best system because different customers have different tastes, but we can proudly say that our system has the best value for money and highest performance/cost ratio. This is one of the reasons that we have the largest share of the market. From an alternative system to the dominating one, more than eighty AOMS® systems have been installed worldwide. By conservative estimate, tens of millions of orthotics have been produced from these systems. AOMS is the most popular automated foot orthotic manufacturing system and AOMS is the best orthotic manufacturing and production system. If not, it would not have been so prevail for so many years.
We work hard and have reward, but we have never spent money in luxury. Because we don't spend resources on massive advertising, renting and hiring, we are able to make our products more affordable than any other similar products on the market. Unlike some other companies, we do not charge royalty from our systems. Behind our success, we have a simple philosophy: if our system doesn't benefit our customers, there should be no room for us to stand.
One key to our success is our commitment to make all critical components in-house, while not reinventing the wheel by not making the off-the-shelf products. This allows us to control quality, cost, and availability, and pass the benefits on to our customers. Despite of our limited manpower, every component that is associated with the AOMS® must be efficient!
Which system can sustain long-lasting and brutal competition? The answer is AOMS. Why competition is long-lasting? Users are not expecting 1-year success. Instead, they are here in business for 5, 10, 20 and more years. AOMS has been around for more than 23 years and it witnessed several systems phased in and out. Why is the competition brutal? Rivals offer ‘free’ foot scanners to their clients and some of lab's clients are gone. AOMS provides solutions which are professional and low-cost. Current AOMS TOT is an example.
Established in 1993, Sharp Shape has been a technology company with concentration on the automation for orthotic labs. Although Sharp Shape is a small business, the influence that Sharp Shape gave to the orthotic industry through 23 years is enormous. Before 1993, the use of MDF wood board as mold for making foot orthotics was unheard of, at least not at the production level. Since then, the making of orthotics using MDF is popular across the board.
In the early years when we did not have enough lab-customers, we worked on projects for some large companies, like Johnson Matthey and Applied Materials here in Silicon Valley; the projects were software related. After several years since the startup, we became so busy that we could not take any other projects. We have been working on the technology for automating the orthotic labs since.
We designed our cast scanners and foot scanners. We have several scanner models along the history of the computer technology development. The first model was designed for a plug-in card inserted in an ISA bus slot. The second model was designed for the PCMCIA card. The third model was designed for the serial port. The fourth model was designed for the USB port. The latest model is the iPad Foot Scanner (AOMS TOT). We also made other scanner designs, like a hand-held scanner and a 2D-to-3D scanner, which did not go main stream.
We have developed two major versions of the AOMS CAD/CAM software, e.g. AOMS 1.0 and AOMS 2.0. We have made many related software packages, like the scanner software (different versions), the cast correction software, the CNC scheduling software (for many types of CNCs), the matching software, the AOMS TOT app, and so on. We also customize the AOMS software for orthotic labs.
By estimate, tens of millions of orthotics have been produced from those AOMS systems. If you have ever received a pair of custom foot orthosis in the United States in the past 23 years, we are very confident that the pair was most likely made from one of the Sharp Shape AOMS systems, no matter it is a pair of rigid polypropylene orthotics, or a pair of soft EVA insole.
Sharp Shape keeps innovating new products in its field of our expertise. Sharp Shape also keeps track of the latest advanced technologies in other fields and applies them to the automation of orthotic manufacturing process. The existence of Sharp Shape keeps the cost down for our customers, because of our low-cost approaches in developing and manufacturing our products.
There are two executives in our company. Most of the works of making scanners are out-sourced. We write the software code, handle scanner integration, calibration, repairs, system setup, and provide customer support. As a small business, the two executives are also involved in the software and hardware works. For more information about us, you can visit the investor’s page.
An Old Story
Can you imagine how much AOMS was used? You must have some experience with the PC keyboard. When you use a keyboard a lot, the top of the keys will become shiny by rubbing and punching. What happens if you keep using it? The letter on the key will gradually faint away and the key become blank. What happens if you still keep using it? The plastic key will be worn through (with a hole on it). Ten years ago, we set up the AOMS system for a large lab. A couple of years ago, we revisited them on an upgrade, we was amazed by the look of the four arrow keys being used. They were blanks. The operator told us that they have replaced six keyboards, and every one of them had holes on the arrow keys. Imagine that! We don’t charge royalties. The more you use the system, the more you benefit from it. Someone must have the impression that AOMS is used for large labs. That is a myth. By configuring the system with a low-cost router, you are able to reduce the cost on the system a lot. As result, AOMS is also suitable for some podiatrist/pedorthists groups and shoe stores if you have reasonable volume of production. In the past, a couple of AOMS systems were set up in garages. Please contact us if you are interested.
On Another Note
It happened in a day in November 2008. I was called to meet a potential customer in downtown San Jose. The meeting was on short notice and the customer only had a small window of opportunity to meet me. I rushed downtown, but I had a hard time finding parking near the meeting. Finally, I found meter parking by the street. After I parked there, I found that I didn’t bring any cash. While I was hesitating, an old pan-handler offered help. She lent me four quarters. When I took money from her shaking and dirty hands, I felt quite moved. I promised to pay her back after the meeting. After the meeting I withdrew some cash. I came back to the parking location, but I couldn’t find the pan-handler. Although it was only a dollar and I could walk away, I felt an obligation to find her. I knew she was not too far away so I searched several blocks and finally found her. I returned the money with my gratitude. We never walk away from our obligations. We don’t reduce our obligations because you are too young, too old, disabled, or are new to the technology. This is how serious we mean business.
Our Mission Statement
To provide scanners, CAD/CAM programs and services to our customers in the most cost-effective way possible while maintaining the highest standards of product quality and moral business conduct. To listen and learn from our customers and associates, and to implement suggestions which are deemed to have even the slightest merit in a timely fashion.
We run extra miles for our customers
This is how we work hard for our customers. Our customers are around the globe. When we are in our Sundays, customers on the other side of the globe are in their Mondays. Also, when we are in our holidays, like US Thanksgiving, customers overseas like Canada are not. When these customers are in need of us and when we are available, we will serve them. In order to reduce downtime in production, many customers chose to send their scanners to us for service/repair right before weekends. If we are not out of town, we will do their work during the weekends.
We are a proud Professional Partner of PFOLA (Prescription Foot Orthotic Laboratory Association). PFOLA is an influential organization in the custom-foot-orthotic field here in the United States and abroad. You may want to visit their website at www.pfola.org.
"Everyday I use AOMS, I am thankful you created the program. It is so much better than making plaster casts. Much cleaner, efficient and accurate. THANK YOU!" - A lab owner
"I think your system is better than any I have tried." - A lab owner
"As a podiatrist I love using the scanner and going back to plaster casting was like going back to a horse and buggy." - A podiatrist
'I wanted to give you and Kali a heart felt "Thank you" for making such a great orthotic system.' - A lab owner
"By far, he had the best to say about your scanner." - A assitant to a podiatrist
"I sincerely appreciate your help with this. You have certainly been far more pleasant, professional and helpful to work..." - A lab owner
"Thank you for your amazing service and product!" - A lab owner
"Thank you so much for all the hard work that you put into developing this new software! We’re all incredibly grateful here at the lab." - A lab owner
"You are the BEST. Thank you. It is a pleasure to collaborate with you in bringing this wonderful technology to market." - A lab owner
"Alex, so far, I have used the Ipad Mini & Structure Sensor for months now and love it to death!" - An iPad 3D foot scanner user
"On another note the iPad software is working great!" - A lab user who works with the AOMS TOT Windows conversion software
Sharp Shape’s notes: Not all people believe in testimonials. If you are one of them, we do not blame you because we sometimes have doubts in the truthfulness about testimonials. By the way, all the quotes here are real. When we do not have any reference, we follow the trend to purchase a product, like a TV or a Smartphone. Sharp Shape’s AOMS is the most popular orthotic fabrication system that is being used in the foot/podiatric orthotic labs. That is a simple fact and can be found out easily.
Being one of the few pioneers in orthotic automation and facing fierce competitions, we do not just simply stay relevant to the industry during the years; we have been the key player. Sharp Shape values its customers. We ask ourselves: what do customers need? The answer is: they need better performance and lower cost. We have been working so hard to provide these product features all together. It is not easy. Many of our customers understand the hardships to be a small business owner and to keep the business float. We are one of you, we understand your needs and we appreciate your support.
Bright Future Ahead
Sharp Shape has a sharp vision. This vision led to a 20-year prosperity in the orthotic automation field with the legacy of AOMS 1.0. This vision will lead to a new era of AOMS 2.0 ahead of us.