Every year, some six million people in the United States break a bone, and many of these injuries are cloaked with a heavy sheath of fiberglass or plaster while they heal—a treatment that’s been the same for generations.
But casts are finally getting a modern spin. 3-D-printed casts boast an open-lattice plastic design that’s customized to the individual patient. They’re waterproof, they’re more comfortable, and they may even help the bones heal faster. The casts are part of a larger movement toward personalized 3-D-printed medical devices.