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student-developed medical cast is made from plant extracts, recycled food, and bio-resins

Meet AXO

 

When Aadhya Krishna, an industrial-design student from California College of Arts, geared towards innovating healthcare through design, she turned to medical casts and led her team – which consists of Tri Duong and Jiayi Zheng – in conceiving a cast concept intended to adopt ‘sustainable materials that provide comfort, is easy to use, breathable, recyclable, and to design an ecosystem rather than just a product by focusing on people and their needs in emergency around the world,’ she writes. The result brings forth AXO, a 3D-printed conceptual medical cast made from plant extracts, recycled food, and bio-resins (to name a few) that nudged the team to win the Gold in Design For Society Prize of the International Design Awards.

student-developed medical cast is made from plant extracts, recycled food, and bio-resins
images from Aadhya Krishna

 

 

Reinventing medical casts

 

‘The goal of the project was to find new sustainable methods to design and manufacture medical casts, to reduce the need for check-ups and avoid the possibilities of further tissue, muscle, or bone damage,’ Krishna continues. She pinpoints that post-surgery, patients may be cast from two weeks to several months depending on the injury. During her research process, she managed to garner insights from patients who have experienced prolonged casting. They told her that the present medical casting is ‘annoying since the sweat, stink, and itch that comes with it is unbearable,’ while others point out that it smells after weeks of use.

 

With AXO, Krishna relies on design principles that aim to answer these remarks from the patients including having a lightweight cast that enables adjustment, allows customization, and protects from impact; a product that is breathable, comfortable, recyclable, and reusable.

student-developed medical cast is made from plant extracts, recycled food, and bio-resins
student-developed medical cast is made from plant extracts, recycled food, and bio-resins

 

 

Minimizing waste

 

AXO minimizes waste and, as Krishna puts it, does not add to toxic wastelands, burning, or in any way add to the destruction of the climate. She also adds that the social impact of the product has numerous benefits and positive points such as freedom from the burden of long hospitalization; eradication of discomfort over a rigid cost; the breathability of the product; eliminating itches and embarrassments; self-reliance during injuries; setting people free from dependencies; reusability of materials and biodegradability, which add value to ecological needs while helping heal naturally; and quick relief over emotional and behavioral responses like fear and anxiety.

 

As for its pattern, Krishna had tested the design with pentagons and hexagons during the prototype before settling with the triangle pattern after having found out that the shape is the most flexible and strongest structure for the intended medical cast. As she shares, ‘the triangular pattern was decided on the basis of strength, tolerance, and ability to provide flexibility without damaging the form.’

student-developed medical cast is made from plant extracts, recycled food, and bio-resins
the triangular pattern is the most flexible and strongest structure for the cast

student-developed medical cast is made from plant extracts, recycled food, and bio-resins
the goal of the project was to find sustainable methods in designing and manufacturing the orthopedic device.

student-developed medical cast is made from plant extracts, recycled food, and bio-resins
close-up view

medical-cast-db-1800

student-developed medical cast is made from plant extracts, recycled food, and bio-resins

 

project info:

 

name: AXO

designers: Aadhya Krishna, Tri Duong, and Jiayi Zheng

university: California College of Arts

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