Is This 3-D Printed Cast the Future of Healing Broken Bones?

If you have had unfortunately ever broken limb, you know how unpleasant a cast can be. They’re warm, heavy, uncomfortable, itchy and are basically a blank canvas for embarrassing sketches from your friends!!! But the plaster and fiberglass variety is also cheap and, frankly, good enough to not prompt much investment in innovation.

Jake Evill was all too familiar with this problem. After breaking his hand, the recent graduate of Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, was saddled with a plaster cast for a few months.“I was surprised by just how non-user friendly those cumbersome things are,” Evill said. “Wrapping an arm in two kilos of clunky, and soon to be smelly and itchy, plaster in this day and age seemed somewhat archaic to me.”

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Evill figured there had to be a better solution, so the young designer set about creating his own. Called the Cortex cast, Evill’s new take on the plaster cast is a 3D-printed brace that follows the contours of the arm.

Though still just a concept, Evill’s Cortex will be an injury-localized exoskeleton that is lightweight, washable, ventilated and recyclable. Not bad for a school project!

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