At 3dpbm we’ve been reporting on newly proposed solutions for 3D printing custom casts. As an application, it makes total sense. However, neither the printing technology nor the data capturing, nor the 3D model editing, nor the possible adopters have been ready to actually implement it. Now Spanish-British firm Xkelet may have a real solution that integrates a mobile App, AI, and an ultra-fast 3D printer developed in collaboration with Photocentric, to make this – and numerous other medical applications – viable to be 3D printed, even in real-time and – when needed – on-location.
The Xkelet team developed a software capable of scanning any part of the body, taking out anthropometric data and building immobilization automatically, for production via 3D printing technology. The software requires the use of hardware consisting of an iPad and a Structure 3D scanner.
The firm designed the software, with medical professionals and for m medical professionals. It’s intended for use in areas such as traumatology and orthopedics, adding the value of the design in each piece manufactured and with a very intuitive App.
The solid and closed design of traditional limb casts eliminates any opportunity for the prescriber to examine the injury and check for progress, potential swelling, or infection throughout recovery. Heavy, uncomfortable, and hindering everyday life, traditional designs often lead to further discomfort as sores are prone to develop.
The design of the Xkelet cast eliminates these challenges. A customized lightweight, holed brace provides vital ventilation and a patented open/close lock system for easy fitting and swift removal, whilst providing maximum comfort to the patient.
“It’s real-time: 2 minutes,” Pedro Vicente Hernandez Herrero, Chief Medical Officer and VP of Business Development at Xkelet Easy Life, told 3dpbm. “Nobody in the world is capable of starting from a data record, launching a custom printing or manufacturing order in 2 minutes.
“ML software fixes scanner log errors, quality control of measurements, designs and builds, prepares the printer for maximum efficiency, and executes the build order – he explains. Then no one in the world is able to print as fast as we do with our XKprinter printer. Between 20 and 90 minutes depending on the size of the splint, and we can place it on the patient. The same can be done for any other custom product: dental aligners, prostheses, implants, templates, sports protectors, glasses…”
When Xkelet met Photocentric
The collaboration between Xkelet and Photocentric let to the creation of an advanced solution to traditional orthotics, revolutionizing the treatment of damaged bones. The XKprinter was developed as an application-tailored LC Magna printer with modified hardware and firmware. It is supported by an optimized material, required for Xkelet’s innovative 3D printed cast solutions.
The bespoke 3D printing technology combined with Xkelet’s cutting-edge AI software has a twofold effect, improving treatment procedures for the health provider, and, dramatically advancing patient recovery. Made to measure with cutting-edge XKSO 3D scanning software, Xkelet’s 3D printed affordable, personalized, and lightweight cast alternative to plaster, thermoplastics and other orthotics has been adopted in 17 countries worldwide.
Originally using FDM 3D printers (still available as an option), Xkelet faced production, time and cost challenges. With advanced printing capabilities and a complete suite of hardware, materials and software, LC Magna offered the ideal solution.
It now takes just 30 seconds for a limb to be scanned with Xkelet’s XKSO software; an all-encompassed program built for health professionals by health professionals. Two minutes later, the scan has been fully processed, fabricating a virtual 3D patient-specific cast. Converted into an STL file, the cast transforms into its physical form layer by layer with LC Magna’s cutting-edge 3D printing technology.