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  1. #1

    3D printed casts?

    Hi, so whats up with the 3D printed casts and why are they better then a traditional cast?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    who says they are ?
    Hell who knows anything about them :-)

    Presumably if you have sufficiently expensive scanners and a large scale printer you can make a cast that's custom designed to the limb in question.
    And presumably it would be easier to remove and adjust than a traditional plaster or resin cast.

    So on that basis I'd say a 3d printed cast would probably be lighter and more durable than a traditional cast and capable of removal to check progress and then the same cast could be easily reapplied, or adjusted to account for any changes.
    So if the cast were being worn for a long time - then a removeable and reuseable cast would be significantly cheaper than applying a new cast each time.
    It would also allow for more frequent checks at no extra cost.

    On the downside even with a large nozzle, it'd take quite a few hours to print something as large as a leg cast - but if it were going to need to be worn for an extended period of time - then yep I can see a lot of advantages.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighlyAdaptive View Post
    Hi, so whats up with the 3D printed casts and why are they better then a traditional cast?
    I'm not a Doctor so I could not say, not many people here could.

    If I were to speculate, while it's nice the Plaster moulds to the shape of an arm or leg etc, just messy and takes longer to set and take off. A 3D printed one would also fit perfectly, go on and off in a few seconds (as you can heat it up, form fit it and let it set by blowing some cool air on it for a few seconds)

    The downside is printing a cast that is that big, you need a big fast industrial 3D printer if you are talking about helping someone who just broke a limb.. But, if you are talking about prosthetics, and they can wait a day or two, a mix of silicone and 3D printing seems to be the new thing. You can customize the fittings...

    Example, you have a child missing a hand, the prosthesis needs to be exchanged for larger ones as the child grows. 3D printing allows you to simply scale the original each time a new one is required and you can scale it so incrementally that it would provide the higher level of comfort and ease for the patient, rather than being fitted for bulky clumsy prosthetics they need to re-learn to use every time they get them. This way the new prosthesis is the same version as the old one just as the new desired scale.

    But what would I know, I just fix copiers.
    Hex3D - 3D Printing and Design http://www.hex3d.com

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