Scoliosis is often treated by having the patient wear a corset -like spinal brace, to help guide their curved spine back into proper alignment. Typically, in order to make these braces, a plaster mold of the wearer’s torso must first be obtained.
As with so many other things, however, 3D printing tech may now offer a better alternative. Lelio Leoncini, an Italian doctor specializing in Physical Medicine and Physical Therapy, began 3D-printing experimental “orthopedic corsets” in 2014.
He has now joined the team at WASPmedical – part of the WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project) 3D-printing development group – where he is using a DeltaWASP 40 70 printer to continue his research on a larger scale. According to Leoncini, there are several advantages to the technology.
For one thing, because the computer models for the corsets are created by performing a 3D scan of the patient, no messy application of plaster is necessary. More importantly, the corsets are also claimed to offer a more precise and comfortable fit, they can be made faster and more cost-effectively than traditional handmade braces, plus the designs can always be tweaked after the initial model has been created.