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Now You Can Scratch That Itch Using a 3D Printed Cast

July 7, 2016
3d printed cast wrist

My traditional cast for my broken right wrist.


I am now 3 weeks into my cast-restricted convalescence.  And yes, it is as annoying, smelly and uncomfortable as everyone says.  So when my accident occurred (a large dog was desperate to greet Luke and I was in its way), I toyed with getting our team to scan and 3D print a cast. The doctors were not keen, and since traditional casts are reliable, cheap and quick, I didn’t argue.

If I had gone that route, what would have been involved?  Well, as in the traditional approach, we would have waited a week for the swelling to go down.  Then I would have had a 3D scan to get an exact image of my arm.  The resulting file would then be modified to 3D print the lattice-like open “exo-skeleton” cast which would snap into place.  Oh, to be able to scratch and shower undeterred!  But I’m under no illusions; it could have been a pricey and time-consuming project – the design would have to withstand use and be printed in a non-toxic material, so while I was in a traditional cast 1 week after my fracture, it would likely have taken longer for a high-tech alternative.

But there are times when I’d give almost anything to scratch that itch.

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