Futuristic 3D-printed cast is breathable, waterproof and lightweightBy Shawn Knight
If you've ever been unfortunate enough to break a bone in one of your extremities, you're likely already familiar with the following scenario. A visit to the hospital or doctor leaves you with a clunky plaster or fiberglass cast that does a swell job at isolating the broken bone but otherwise sucks as it is smelly, uncomfortable, can't get wet and let's not even get into those never-ending itches that plague the skin underneath.
Thankfully, there could be a solution on the horizon. Jake Evill, a recent media design graduate of the Victoria University of Wellington, has come up with a cast design that utilizes 3D printing to create a custom cast made of nylon that's better than the traditional method in virtually every aspect.
Aside from looking like part of a superhero's outfit, Evill's cortex cast is completely waterproof meaning you can take a shower without the aid of a plastic bag or other silly method to keep the cast dry. What's more, the material is lightweight and recyclable. The former makes it easier to slide the cast through clothing while the latter is of course good for the environment.
Perhaps the best feature of all, however, is the fact that the cast is covered with holes that allow the wearer to easily access the skin beneath to help keep it clean and itch-free.
Evill hopes that medical professionals will one day adopt the concept but cost and time to create a custom cast will likely keep the idea at bay for now.