3D printing is the process of making a three-dimensional solid object of essentially any shape from a digital model. It has been used to make jewellery to intricate toy models, and is now being utilized by the medical industry to construct 3D casts for broken arms. This means better air-flow and less hassle of trying to bathe with the conventional bulky fibreglass plaster casts used to treat broken bones.
The new 3D cast design was developed by Jake Evill, a graduate from the School of Design at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. He named it “The Cortex” and looks like a labyrinth of spider webs weaved in a honeycomb-like design (something you’d almost witness in a sci-fi movie like Spiderman). This design is much more user-friendly, because it reduces the amount of weight required to carry around (conventional casts are rather heavy!).
The cast allows for ample air flow (meaning less odour buildup), and allows the wearer to itch themselves as much as they please (which is a majorly annoying feeling for those who have ever suffered a broken bone which required casting, such as myself).
This Cortex Cast fits in a similar way as other casts, with X-rays to determine bone fractures. Leon Benson, the spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, said that the network of holes is the major benefit of this casts structure, because it allows breathability, space to scratch, and is light-weight.
For more information on how this cast works, check out Dezeen Magazine.