Having to wear a cast is not the best possible scenario you could think of for your arm. Nevertheless, what ‘kind of’ makes this still a funny experience is casts’s ability to not just be a cast, but a scrapbook as well. We mean: whenever someone needs to wear a cast, friends can write their own supportive messages on it. 3D printing has proven its ability to be a proper way to create personalized casts, but the problem with those plastic ones is that you can’t write on them. Well, meet #CAST (Hash Cast): a 3D printed cast solely made from messages.
This project comes from California-based company FATHOM. The team wanted to use the concept of social media to improve the way we could produce casts. The idea is that whenever you’re having a broken arm, your friends can write you a personal message via Twitter, which will be included in the print of the cast. Patients can use their mobile phone to select which messages will be included and which don’t.
On the FATHOM website, industrial designer Ava DeCapri explains the process of making a personalized 3D printed cast as follows:
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 then delivered to their medical facility and fitted on the user by a specialist.
If you would like to make a 3D printed cast like this yourself, then you need to get your arm 3D scanned at your doctor’s office. The #CAST team could thereafter create a cast from the 3D model, using breathable nylon material. Theoretically, because for now the team will just produce one cast, and won’t make a commercial thing out of this. The company seems to say physicians could work with them to create a #CAST, but it is not the reality of today yet. The project could more be seen as a demonstration of 3D printing’s possibilities. A really good one, though. Check out their video for the project:
Image credits: FATHOM.