August 2018 Tech Tip – 2018 AOPA National Assembly Technical Program

Boost Your Technical Skills

Jumpstart your technical career at the 2018 AOPA National Assembly

Organizers from AOPA and the Orthotic and Prosthetic Technical Association (OPTA) have joined forces to bring you programs such as, “A Modular Approach to Dynamic Bracing,” scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, September 27. During this session, attendees will learn from Scott Wimberley, CTPO, CPA, and Greg Mattson, CTPO, about dynamic bracing and design principles, with additional information about casting, modifications, and the fabrication process from Brad Mattear, LO, CPA, CFo.The four-day technical program will provide cutting-edge presentations that you can take back to the lab and use almost immediately. Expect traditional fabrication techniques, combined with cutting-edge methodologies such as 3-D printing for both orthotic and prosthetic treatment.

“Advanced Lamination Techniques in Orthotic Fabrication,” presented by Jacob Keough, CO, at 11 a.m. on Thursday, will provide tips for laminating lower-extremity orthotic devices. This session is designed to offer a greater understanding of composite materials in designs while showing proper model preparation, layups material selection, and finishing methods.

During “Advanced Prosthetic Fabrication Techniques” on Saturday morning, Caroline Sylvestre will share the latest innovations in prosthetic fabrication techniques to help clinicians provide optimal devices.

In the “Future Tech—Emerging Technologies in O&P” session with Steve Hill, CO, BOCO, at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, participants will learn about smart materials, flexible glass, brain implants, gene therapy, and the latest information about 3-D printing.

Browse the full Technical Program schedule to plan your itinerary for the 2018 National Assembly, and to take advantage of this unique opportunity to boost your technical skills.

Test Your Skills in the 2018 Technical Fabrication Contest

Start practicing! This year’s Technical Fabrication Contest will feature a timed competition on the Exhibit Hall show floor. Sign up. Strut your stuff and show the profession that you are the best technical fabricator in the O&P profession. Winners receive “bragging rights” and cash prizes. There is no charge to participate.

  • First-place winner is awarded a
    $500 cash prize.
  • Runner-up is awarded a
    $200 cash prize.

All National Assembly registrants may participate unless they are a judge, work for a contest sponsor, or are on the National Assembly Planning Committee or AOPA Board of Directors.

Sponsored by:




8 a.m. – 5 p.m.   Manufacturers’ Workshops

Attendees will choose from more than 30 Manufacturers’ Workshops. Visit for details.


7 a.m.   Breakfast

Breakfast will be available to attendees prior to the General Session.

7:15 – 8:30 a.m. General Session (GS1)

Opening keynote presentation with Tobie Hatfield, director of innovations, Nike.

8:30 – 10 a.m. Coffee Break in Exhibit Hall

Take time to peruse the Exhibit Hall, enter the Technical Fabrication Contest, and network with peers.

10 – 11 a.m.

A Modular Approach to Dynamic Bracing (T1)

Scott Wimberley, CTPO, CPA, and Greg Mattson, CTPO

This session will offer an understanding of dynamic bracing and design principles, as well as an overview of casting, modifications, and the fabrication process.

11 a.m. – Noon

Advanced Lamination Techniques in Orthotic Fabrication (T2)

Jacob Keough, CO

Learn advanced lamination techniques in orthotic fabrication.

Noon – 1:30 p.m. Lunch in Exhibit Hall

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Proven Fabrication Techniques Over Rigid Foam Positive Models (T3)

Alex Brett, RTPO(c), and Pat Myrdayl, RTPO, FGBC

The techniques presented here have been compiled from the presenters’ personal experience, as well as tips gleaned from other fabricators.

2:30 – 3 p.m.

Future Tech—Emerging Technologies in O&P (T4)

Steve Hill, CO, BOCO

In this annually updated presentation, Steve Hill, CO, BOCO, will discuss many of the latest emerging technologies. While the main focus will be on technologies specific to O&P, an overview of other new technologies will be discussed to encourage finding ways to employ them for the benefit of O&P practice and patients. This year’s topics will include smart materials, flexible glass, brain implants, and gene therapy, as well as updated information on 3-D printing and more.

3:15 – 4 p.m.

Blood in Custom-Laminated Sockets: More Than Just a Freckle? (T5)

Joanna Kenton, CPO, LPO

Goods and items in the production process often contain contaminants that, in large quantities, could be detrimental to the consumer. So how about in the prosthetic industry where each device is customized and lovingly made by hand? A technician may nick his or her hand or have a dry cuticle and—before it’s even realized—a small smear of blood could penetrate the fabric as it’s being prepared for lamination. Blood does not laminate; if the layup is continued and laminated, what happens to the chemical make-up of the blood? Are technicians aborting the process and starting over? Or are they continuing regardless, and the socket becomes delivered despite best practices? What are the associated legal and ethical concerns?

4 – 5 p.m.

“Finding Your Way” Developing and Utilizing Standards in the Fabrication Setting (T6)

Scott Wimberley, CTPO, CPA, and Greg Mattson, CTPO

Learn about a lean approach to process control. Attendees will receive information through PowerPoint presentations and handout materials on the following topics: value, benefits, processes for developing standards, and visual examples specific to O&P.


7 a.m. Breakfast

Breakfast will be available to attendees prior to the General Session.

7:15 – 8:30 a.m. General Session (GS2)

The Friday morning General Session will include an awards ceremony and an update from the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics on the new World Health Organization Standards for O&P.

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Coffee Break in Exhibit Hall

10 a.m. – Noon

Getting Your Feet Wet With O&P 3-D Printing! (T7)

Enjoy a full day of sessions designed to give participants the background needed to go from scan to printed device.

Overview of 3-D Printing (T7-B)

Jeff Erenstone, CPO, and Nick Dechev

Receive a summary of adaptive manufacturing technologies and examples of how 3-D printing and CAD can be used in efficient workflows.

Noon – 1:30 p.m. Lunch in Exhibit Hall

1:30 – 3 p.m.

Scanning and CAD Software Roundtable (T8)

Various Speakers

Representatives from many of the major scanning manufacturers—including Omega, Standard Cyborg, Create O&P, Vorum, BioSculptor Corp., Rodin4D, Provel, and TechMed—will share the latest and greatest in scanning and CAD software.

3:45 – 5 p.m.

CAE, CAM, and Printing Workshop (T9)

Receive an introduction of Meshmixer with links for follow-up video viewing on YouTube and a detailed explanation of slicer (CAM) software.


7 a.m. Breakfast

Breakfast will be available to attendees prior to the General Session.

7:15 – 8:30 a.m. General Session (GS3)

The Saturday session will provide an update on Orthotics 2020 followed by a presentation with “Monster” Mike Schultz, Paralympic Gold medalist.

8:30 – 10 a.m. Coffee Break in Exhibit Hall

10 – 11 a.m.

Advanced Prosthetic Fabrication Techniques (T10)

Caroline Sylvestre

Learn advanced fabrication techniques for prosthetics.

11 a.m. – Noon

3-D Printing Recap & Roundtable (T11)

Jeff Erenstone, CPO (Moderator)

Attendees will review printed devices and will be able to question industry experts on practice and practicality.

To learn more about the AOPA National Assembly, visit