One of the worst aspects of fracturing a bone, other than the excruciating pain and subsequent hospital bill, is the itchy, smelly, plaster cast. Sure, all your friends get to write hilarious things on it, but you end up being the kid in the shallow end of the pool with their arm stuck inside a giant trash bag. Definitely not cool. What if a cast could be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing? Jake Evill, a graduate from the Architecture and Design school at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, has been exploring such a concept and he calls it Cortex.
Evill says that the “Cortex exoskeletal cast provides a highly technical and trauma zone localized support system that is fully ventilated, super light, shower friendly, hygienic, recyclable and stylish.” Patients would first receive an x-ray to pinpoint the nature of the break and would next have their arm scanned to determine the outer shape of their limb. Lastly the Cortex cast would be 3D-printed, with optimized levels of support around the break area to provide a snug fit.
It’s safe to say that with present technology the 3D-printed method would take considerably longer to fabricate than a typical plaster cast, but the idea is intriguing. It reminds me of the present movement to make prosthetic limbs more beautiful and personalized. Read more about Cortex here. (via dezeen)