If you’ve ever broken a limb, you know how awful it is to live in a clunky old cast for weeks on end. Well, that’s about to end. Bespoke has started using 3d printing to make custom cast prototypes that would stabilize broken body parts just like conventional casts. Unlike the traditional casts which get dirty and suffocate your skin, these 3d-printed casts use a smaller amount of materials, can be worn in the shower and can even make the healing process more efficient.
Scott Summit, senior director at 3D Systems and founder of Bespoke, decided to combine 3d printing and prosthetics manufacturing around the time he tore a ligament in his arm and was told that he would have to wear a huge fiberglass cast for six months. He teamed up with his business partner, an orthopedic surgeon, to develop a 3d-printed cast that would be much less cumbersome and would actually speed up the healing process.
Summit scanned his arm, created a 3d model of it and manufactured a cast that would fit him perfectly. The final design had three points of fixation to the arm and three other to his hand, in order to keep the wrist stable. Also, the cast shape was designed to sit in areas where it would produce the least amount of discomfort. It is only five millimeters thick and looks very minimalist. Instead of taking up to two hours to remove and reapply the conventional cast, the new 3d-printed one takes only a few seconds. This would allow significant savings in money and time when it comes to patient care.
Via Fast Co.DESIGN