Jun.28, 2013

"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 twenty-first century." writes designer Jake Evill.

Jake Evill is a Victoria University of Wellington graduate and his recent conceptual project "the Cortex exoskeletal cast" is designed to replace the usual plaster casts with a highly technical and trauma-zone-localised support system.

Utilizing 3D printing, the prototype Cortex cast is fully ventilated, super light, shower friendly, hygienic, recyclable and stylish.

An injured patient would first undergo X-Ray and 3D scan. The limb is X-Rayed in order to identify the break and its exact position, and the arm is then 3D scanned in order to define the exact dimension of the limb. Dimensions and data are then fed into the computer. A 3D model in relation to the point of fracture is generated with best fit and optimal support.

The nylon cast would be 3D printed on site. One side is open to enable access and once fitted, it snaps closed with built-in durable fasteners. The Cortex exoskeletal cast is very thin yet extremely strong and durable. Unlike plaster casts the patient can still wear a long sleeved shirt. In addition it is fully washable and shower friendly.

Approximately 6.3 million fractures occur each year in the U.S.. Jake Evill hopes one day this concept could be brought to market that more patient could benefit from the design and 3D printing technology.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



Maybe you also like:


Dr.Shareef wrote at 6/22/2016 2:41:59 AM:

Dear Sir/Madam. could you please send me the companies name who manufacture cortex 3d printed my email is alaberforimporting@yahoo.com looking forward to hearing from you. Dr.Shareef 00967733416820

kenzo wrote at 8/12/2015 2:31:19 AM:

How much for the cast

Janus Korevec wrote at 11/22/2014 9:53:39 PM:

Nice but what would the cost be

Heather wrote at 6/5/2014 7:14:01 PM:

My friend has a bone issue and this cast woul work great for her how do you get one of these

Cris Pope wrote at 3/5/2014 4:50:12 PM:

Im not a doctor. Im a 25 Year old father of a 1 year old. Ive always enjoyed extreme sports and i recently broke my left wrist skateboarding. A navicular fracture to be precise. My doctor put me in a full arm cast. The thing is im kind of clostraphobic and cant be restricted and get terrie anxiety. i also have my baby to take care of and the bulky rough fiberglass cast scratched up my son so i wripped it off. I couldnt take it. I am going to request a cortex cast and i pray i can get one. Its an amazing invention for people like me.

Garret wrote at 10/14/2013 7:44:35 AM:

Additionally, most permanent casting is done after the significant swelling has diminished. A temporary splint is applied until such time that an MD/PA has determined that swelling has subsided and a more permanent support structure can be applied.

Garret wrote at 10/14/2013 7:42:07 AM:

I disagree with the "plaster acts as a poultice" increasing healing time. I think that fresh air is more beneficial to maintaining healthy skin and healing than plaster. Also the majority of casting done for a fracture in the forearm/wrist is done with fiberglass as it has superior durability to plaster and has little in the way of being a poultice. The main problem I see is that 3d printing times have to increase to make this a viable option. As for positioning of the fractures, software developed for orthopedic purposes could easily be designed to set bones in the correct area. There would need to be a great deal of Orthopedic oversight in the designs and for rapid deployment of this system a portable xray machine would be ideal. As most radiography are emailed to radiologist abroad, professional radiography interpretations would be as simple as sending and receiving an email. I see this being a very promising solution to field medicine in the near future and I hope that the funding and support is forthcoming so that this technology can be fielded soon.

Concerned2000 wrote at 8/9/2013 11:22:31 PM:

While this was done with SLS, there is no reason that it couldn't be translated into FDM useing the medical grad eof nylon 618 as the material. That brings the cost of the machine down considerably. The time constraint is considerable. However with less material needed, that may be moot in remote disaster areas where the alternative is a traditional splint (as there may not be enough plaster / fiberglass available for casts for every patient). Also, as printing speeds improve the time factor becomes less an issue. The CAD time needed is the downfall unless the software can be set to model the cast on its own.

Aarone Durocher ATC-L, OTC wrote at 7/31/2013 1:38:15 AM:

I'd like to know how do you deal with changes in swelling, maintaining skin integrity, and positioning in flexion or ulnar deviation. Few casts are actually applied in a neutral position. Also, what about insurance reimbursement? With less expensive options available this may be like Gore-Tex once was and have to have the patient pay out of pocket because the carriers won't cover it. Thanks

SKlasen wrote at 7/29/2013 4:36:18 PM:

Such a product was shown by Fraunhofer IPA on the fair "Orthopaedie- un Rehatechnik 2010" in Leipzig, Germany. Same procedure as for other orthotic devices also shown by Fraunhofer IPA on the same fair.

pjotr wrote at 7/1/2013 5:25:50 PM:

Beautiful work... big cons are missing as some are already mentioned -setup time: scan, analyse etc will not be speedy, not to mention the printing -strength: the production procedure (SLS) results in unpredictable material properties, thus not suitable to trust your bones on..

Carlos Garcia Pando wrote at 6/30/2013 6:27:06 PM:

Looks very nice and undoubtedly it has all the advantages you mention, but have you estimated the cost and the printing time?. You go to hospital with a broken arm and possibly you go out a couple of hours later with the plaster on, and many times without RX. In this case you have to send the patient home and come back in one or two days (remember the cooling time for nylon sintering equals the sintering time itself!) Otherwise you have to apply a plaster for some days (to protect and avoid further injuries) and then fit the nice and functional cortex.

Jonesy wrote at 6/30/2013 4:53:38 PM:

How long would it take to create the geometry? Would someone have to create the CAD model from the scans? How much time would pass from the time someone came into the emergency room to the time a cast was fit? What do these durable fasteners look like? how much more expensive would this be than a heat activated, formable fiberglass? What about then using the nylon as a pattern for a titanium splint?

CornGolem wrote at 6/30/2013 1:02:06 PM:

I think that the plaster acts as a poultice which helps considerably the healing. It means that this cortex cast would lead to slower and weaker healing. Additionally, the skin would absorb synthetic material (nylon) and the cast would be more dirty and harder to clean due to its numerous cavities.

jamiegreen/d.r.b merchandise wrote at 6/30/2013 5:25:07 AM:

That's. What I needs done to my designer bags so I can take my contract with mizco/davision invention...

CornGolem wrote at 6/29/2013 3:52:47 PM:

I think that the plaster acts as a poultice which helps considerably the healing. It means that this cortex cast would lead to slower and weaker healing. Additionally, the skin would absorb synthetic material (nylon) and the cast would be more dirty and harder to clean due to its numerous cavities.

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive