3D printed exoskeletons: New Zealand student creates the Cortex
What is the cortex made up of? Anyone who has had the bad experience of a bone fracture knows well that one of the worst aspects of the situation, in addition to pain and functional limitation, is having to wear an uncomfortable plaster cast, especially in summer where heat, sweat and itching they make it very annoying, so annoying that someone started looking for a more practical solution on their own
Among these Jake Evill, a graduate student at the School of Architecture and Design at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, who years ago made several prototypes of the project he called “Cortex“, created using 3D printing. Cortex could replace the common plaster in the future.
Regarding the Cortex, Jake Evill himself said:
“Cortex is an exoskeleton that allows a highly technological support system to the traumatized area: it is fully ventilated, extremely light because it is made of nylon, recyclable, waterproof and therefore also suitable for the shower or bath, hygienic, discreet, customizable and, last but not least pleasing to the eye”.
On his website (http://www.evilldesign.com/), Jake explains the three steps involved in making Cortex:
- x-ray to identify site and type of fracture;
- 3D scan of the affected part;
- 3D printing of the cast to be worn, with a thicker reinforcing mesh at the exact point where the fracture is located.
The idea came to Jake when he himself broke his arm and created his own “custom cast” in 3D
The creator said: “It wasn’t particularly beautiful, but it seemed to work surprisingly well.”
Evill then sent his model of the scan to a Dutch company specializing in 3D printing.
News of Cortex spread quickly, reaching interest from orthopedic surgeons around the world, and Jake was approached by potential investors.
However, the creator of Cortex is cautious
“Further tests will be necessary to definitively confirm its greater effectiveness compared to a normal cast and we will try to improve the time required to print and solidify the three-dimensional cast.
I’m currently looking for the best option that will allow me to make Cortex available to anyone who needs it.”