The next wave of manufacturing – 3D printing – is making its way into the medical industry with full force.
In addition to assisting medical professionals in creating pieces for internal uses, such as blood vessels and organs, 3D printing is being used for much more mundane purposes – printing casts for patients with broken limbs.
By printing casts, rather than using the traditional plaster method, patients will experience much greater comfort. Gone will be the days of itches they can’t scratch and bathing with a plastic bag over the cast. Additionally, casts produced in designs such as the one above will allow the skin beneath the cast to breathe. Oh, and they’ll look pretty cool too.
Aesthetics and comfort aside, 3D printed casts may also allow for new forms of treating broken bones. Pulses of ultra high-frequency sound waves have been shown to speed bone healing. With these casts the probes that need to be connected directly to the skin above the break will be able to be easily adhered, something that traditional plaster casts currently prevent.
For more information, check out 3D Printed Casts Speed Bone Recovery Using Ultrasound.