The potential of 3D printing is boundless, and of late has become what almost seems like a fantastical promise to revolutionizing to every aspect of our lives.  Well, here’s a “down to Earth” practical application for 3D printing: revolutionizing casts for healing bone fractures.

Traditional casts have gone relatively unchanged for as long as anyone can remember.  Everyone remembers at least one kid from every grade of school who had to endure that bulky, stinky monstrosity for months at a time.  While the day of having one’s friends and family sign their cast may be over, the benefits are obvious, i.e., no more stinky, itchy, somehow off-putting medical contraption.

It’s in surprisingly low-tech applications such as this that the true value of 3D printing can be seen.  It seems absurd that it has taken this long to fundamentally change the design of the traditional plaster cast.  But with a little ingenuity involving a new amazing technology, we will all benefit from innovations like this.  I only hope that doctor’s offices can somehow write off the cost of 3D printers and get these things cranking out casts and splints to their patients.  It will cut costs, time, and the “ick” factor for so many people that it simply has to happen ASAP.  As for no longer being able to have a “tatted up” cast full of signatures, I propose friends and family tying ribbons and attaching charms to show their well wishes!

image source: [dezeen]