So we’ve seen how 3D printers can be used to print medical-related gadgets, such as a portion of a skull, and while those are great and serve as viable alternatives compared to current implants and whatnot, wouldn’t it be better if those 3D printed medical gadgets/accessories could actively help your healing process as well?
Well perhaps now it can, thanks to a prototype cast which not only acts as a regular cast, but at the same time uses ultrasonic vibrations that will help speed up the bone healing time. This design was put together by Turkish student, Denis Karasahin, who managed to win the 2014 Golden A’Design Award for his idea.
Now the concept of 3D printed casts and ultrasonic vibrations to help heal bones have been around for a while. One of the difficulties of ultrasonic vibrations is that it requires the leads to be placed directly on the skin above the part of the bone that needs healing. As you can imagine, plaster casts make this impossible, if not extremely difficult, but as you can see in the image above, a 3D printed cast can allow for openings where the leads can be placed onto the skin.
Unfortunately this seems to be in its prototype stages right now, but given that 3D printing is catching on, especially in the medical industry who has seen a lot of use for such devices and the objects it can print, we wouldn’t be surprised if this idea catches on a lot faster than we’d expect. Soon we might be able to say goodbye to smelly and dirty casts, and hello to quicker recovery time!