Through a combination of X-ray technology, 3D printing, and scanning, Jake Evill, media design graduate of the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, crafted the Cortex exoskeletal cast. It’s a fully ventilated structure used to heal broken bones. The concept received the James Dyson Award £10,000 first runner-up prize, going up against 650 international competitors (the Dyson Award celebrates, encourages, and inspires the next generation of design engineers).
The fracture support system employs scanning technologies to provide a “trauma-zone localized” support structure. Scanning in conjunction with a software system creates the structure, ultimately making it possible to focus denser support around the fracture. Subsequently, the structure is 3D-printed out of recyclable plastic (this type of cast would require several hours to print). It becomes ready-to-fit directly off of the printer, with built-in fasteners added for the final enclosure.
The final result is a customized, tight-fitting, ultra-light cast that more readily fits under clothes. It’s flexible, open-lattice structure makes the casted area much less clumsy than a traditional cast, and gives the wearer easier access to “itchy” areas, as well as being more easy to wash. And, once the fracture heals, a special tool simply removes the fasteners and the cast comes off.http://medicaldesign.com/products/cortex-fracture-support-system-gets-dyson-award-first-runner