By Alexandra Burlacu | Jul 02, 2013 12:33 PM EDT
Not that it's good to break your arm or anything, but a new 3-D printed cast aims to make the healing process easier and cooler.
Everyone knows those boring, traditional casts that everyone signs or draws on. They do their job, but they're a real drag and the itching underneath that cast is bound to make one want to climb up a wall. Those who have to wear casts often test their imagination and inventiveness by trying to come up with ways to ease that itching and so stories are born of how pencils, chopsticks and what-not got stuck underneath a cast.
Designer Jake Evill, however, has a better idea for those never-ending itches. Evill came up with an intriguing Cortex exoskeletal cast concept that uses 3-D printing to make a custom cast that is both lightweight and strong, not to mention full of glorious air holes that let you scratch away.
"After many centuries of splints and cumbersome plaster casts that have been the itchy and smelly bane of millions of children, adults and the aged alike, the world over, we at last bring fracture support into the 21st century," boasts Evill.
The 3-D-printed cast concept involves having the patient's arm, leg, or whatever affected area X-rayed and 3-D-scanned. Each cast would be customized based on the injury, offering more support where necessary. Simply put, the entire cast looks like some futuristic pattern full of holes, with a tighter grip at the injury site for more protection.
While the mere idea of having a cast that doesn't look like any other cast sounds pretty exciting, the true glory of this cast lies in those many, many air holes that would ease the inevitable itches. Showering would be no problem for the Cortex, and the whole cast would be fully recyclable once it served its purpose and it's time to take it off.
The Cortex cast is just a concept so far, but it holds great potential nonetheless. The medical world already embraced 3-D printing technology, so the Cortex may soon become a reality.
While it's advisable to be cautious and avoid breaking any limbs, how cool would it be to have such a cast instead of the regular plaster that drives you crazy? Would you wear a Cortex cast?
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