As a teenager, when the boy who sat in front of me in class came in sporting a broken arm, I remember being heartbroken, ballpoint pen poised in midair, when he refused to let me–or anyone–sign his cast. Perhaps a really cool cast and some uplifting social media messages would have made him feel better. With Fathoms’s #Cast, medicine, manufacturing, and art are truly mixing it up–all in the name of lifting spirits. If broken arms could possibly be made fun, here’s it is.
Using the #CAST mobile app, users can approve or reject personalized messages collected through their preferred social networks. Once the maximum amount of characters allowed are approved by the user, a custom fit design is generated and built, and then delivered to their medical facility and fitted on the user by a specialist.
Considering Fathom works with companies to put satellites into orbit, electric cars on freeways, and a full spectrum of devices into people’s hands and homes, it should be no surprise that they have been able to come up with something as truly groundbreaking as #Cast. Only available through coordination with doctor’s offices currently, #Cast uses advanced manufacturing and 3D CAD software to create a 3D cast made in a breathable nylon material using an additive technology called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS).
Prosthetics, medical implants, and 3D printed casts have been getting a lot of attention in the news. Turkish industrial designer Deniz Karasahin, creator of the Osteoid Medical cast, recently won the A’Design Award in the ‘3-D Printed Forms and Products Design’ category for designing a new, black, lightweight 3-D printed cast that’s patterned like latticework and which uses an ultrasound device to make bones heal more quickly. Jake Evill’s Cortex exoskeletal cast provides a highly technical and trauma zone localized support system that is fully ventilated, super light, shower friendly, hygienic, recyclable and stylish. The cortex cast utilizes the x-ray and 3D scan of a patient with a fracture and generates a 3d model in relation to the point of fracture.
In a perfect example of how contagious creativity and inspiration are, the Fathom team was moved to come up with something interactive for young people experiencing the pain and inconvenience of wearing a cast. Their biggest challenge was the software and language to create and convey the messages, not to mention that hand writing a message on someone’s cast is very personal and not easily imitated. In a genius approach, each cast is a vehicle of communication from loved ones, but also a true piece of artwork
Says Eva DeCapri, Industrial Designer at Fathom, “The coolest aspect of the #CAST concept is definitely the inclusion of social media in a medical application. We are taking something that is usually a big bummer, breaking your arm, and turning it into a fun and social experience. Just like when your friends and family draw on a traditional cast with markers. Even better with #CAST, anyone from anywhere in the world can “sign” a person’s cast. It has the potential to not only heal your arm more efficiently, but also uplift your spirits.”
Fathom is a company driven by advanced technology. Their portfolio includes professional 3D printers and manufacturing systems, prototyping and advanced manufacturing services, along with design and engineering resources in support of all their services.
In the event of having wear a cast, is this something you would be interested in? What do you think of integrating social media with medical devices? Tell us your thoughts in the Fathom #CAST forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below showing this idea in more detail:
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