For those of you who have had the unfortunate experience of going through the healing process after breaking one (or more) of your limbs, you would know the uncomfortable feeling you get whenever your hand (or the affected limb) is placed in a cast. These tend to be bulky most of the time, and they also double up as a blank canvas for friends to leave goodwill messages, although some of the more mischievous ones among your circle might just opt to leave embarrassing sketches instead without having to answer for them. The thing is, those are small payoffs for the healing process to ensure that your bone sets properly, while plaster and fiberglass variants also do their job well without costing an arm and a leg, which indirectly results in a whole lot less investment where innovation is concerned. Jake Evill is one to do something about the situation after being saddled with a plaster cast for a few months himself, where the “smelly and itchy plaster” bothered him so much, he decided to think of a solution of his own. Voila! A 3D-printed brace which would now be able to follow the contours of the arm.
This 3D printed brace might remain a concept as at press time, but Evill’s Cortex (as he has called it) might just have an extremely bright future ahead of it, thanks to it being an injury-localized exoskeleton which is not only lightweight, but washable, ventilated and recyclable to boot.
Evill was inspired by nature to churn out this design after doing some research on the human bone, and realized that the trabecular – tiny lattice-shaped structures which form the inner tissue of a bone, is the design he had been looking for all this while. Evill said, “It was this honeycomb structure that inspired the Cortex pattern because, as usual, nature has the best answers. This natural shape embodied the qualities of being strong whilst light just like the bone it is protecting within.”
Hopefully this denser, less ventilated material will become more and more mainstream and accepted in medical circles in the future, and when that happens, we own Jake Evill a big round of applause and thanks.