Anyone who has ever broken a limb can probably recall memories of a heavy, bulky cast likely decorated with get well notes and signatures written in Sharpies. Such casts would become smelly and itchy as the healing process progresses, and simple tasks such as showering and putting on clothing would become tedious in the least.
Perhaps it was for these very reasons that designer Jake Evill has come up with a concept for an orthopedic cast that solves many of the issues of current plaster or fiberglass casts, and reduces the amount of potential manufacturing waste in the process.
Dubbed “Cortex”, this novel cast does away with the traditional, limb-shaped shell for a design that looks somewhat like a rigid, fishnet stocking. Custom 3D-printed using nylon from a scan of a patient’s arm, Cortex would be thinner and lighter than traditional casts, and can actually allow a patient to wear a long sleeve shirt over it. Yet, Cortex is just as strong and durable; the denser areas of the cast’s lattice provide additional stability and support at and around the point of the fracture. Moreover, as the Cortex is fully ventilated, showering is easier, and smell and itch won’t be an issue since it looks like you can shower in it and poke a toothpick just about anywhere to get the itch out.
Finally, since Cortex’s design uses less material to produce, there will be less overall waste. But, even a used nylon Cortex can be recycled and made into another Cortex for the next broken bone.
1.Jake Evill’s website: http://jakevilldesign.dunked.com/cortex