Just about everyone who has ever broken a bone knows that it is a pain
-- and not just from the break. The skin under the cast will inevitably
start to itch and you can drive yourself nuts trying to find the right
size stick or knitting Cortex 3D Printed Exoskeletal Cast by Jake Evill (You Tube Image)needle to slide inside for a scratch that just
never seems to be quite the relief you were looking for. Then there is
the problem of being able to shower without getting the cast wet. That
is until now. Jake Evill, a designer in London, has come up with a
lightweight exoskeletal cast that can be created by using a 3D printer.
A recent graduate of Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, Evill is passionate about design. He wants to bring such innovative thinking and approaches to future projects. He named this particular idea Cortex.
The cast looks like a cross between a web and a honey comb. The open pattern allows for air flow and scratching that maddening itch. With air able to move through it won't start to stink. Since it is made of nylon it can go in the shower without starting to degrade. Chances are that you can even swim in it.
Cortex 3D Printed Exoskeletal Cast by Jake Evill (You Tube Image)A 3D scan is taken of the affected limb and the information is transferred to a 3D printer. It takes about three hours for the cast to be created. The cast is made of nylon and snaps together easily to hold the break in place during healing and applies just the right amount of pressure to aid in healing.
One of the great features about the cast is that once it has done the job it can be removed and recycled. This is a major plus since medical waste has been on the increase over the past 15 years.
For the patient another benefit is that if fits comfortably under clothing and really looks cool. There is no doubt that the cast looks sporty on one hand and futuristic on the other. Without a doubt being able to shower and scratch when the need arises will take some of the pain out of having a broken bone.
The one drawback to this kind of cast is that your friends won't get to scribble all over it. Another tradition could bite the dust. The ability to scratch should be able to trump that!
Sources: Jake Evill, Forbes