Heal your arm within the words of friends and family: FATHOM’s 3D Printed #CAST for the Social Media Age:
#CAST (pronounced “Hash Cast”) is the new way to customize your broken arm cast with personal messages aggregated from your family and friends through social media. Using the latest in advanced manufacturing technologies and 3D CAD software, an arm can be 3D scanned at a doctor’s office and a one-of-a-kind cast made in a breathable nylon material using an additive technology called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)….
From a Q&A WITH AVA DECAPRI, INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER AT FATHOM
Why did the FATHOM team take on the #CAST project?
Ava DeCapri: The #CAST project was inspired by the influx of 3D printed casts in the additive manufacturing community — headline-making applications such as Osteoid, the 3D printed cast with healing ultrasonic vibrations created by Turkish student Deniz Karasahin, and the Cortex Cast by student Jake Evill. Both examples utilize 3D printing technologies in innovative ways. It’s great that the ability to scan an arm for a closer fit is possible and very accessible. Plus, the durability and waterproof qualities of the 3D printed material make it ideal for a medical application like a cast.
While discussing the amazing benefits of the various 3D printed cast designs, we became very focused on the users experience from an interactive standpoint. It’s classic to see personalized notes written in marker on a traditional cast. That’s when we realized a big part of the user experience was missing. We asked ourselves, how else could 3D printing uniquely aid in elevating a user’s experience? The #CAST app that works alongside the 3D printed cast, provides that unique experience for the user while still benefiting from the innovative structure that improves healing and comfort. Our goal was to create a cast concept that was familiar, yet exciting and innovative.
What challenges did you encounter with the #CAST project?
Ava DeCapri: The main challenge with the #CAST was translating the text from the #CAST app into a supportive structure. We experimented with different methods of translating the text to the cast surface in RHINO CAD software. The design team finalized a way of using paneling tools and manipulating control points based on the break point identified on the original scan. This method worked well, as we were able to create denser letter groupings around the break, where more support was needed and airier sections where support was less crucial. Having this flexibility to customize the density of the cast allows for a breathable, lighter, and all around more comfortable structure for the wearer that’s built out of personal messages just for them….