Italy-based WASP’s medical arm has developed an orthopedic corset, demonstrating the company’s shift towards 3D print applications.
WASP, a short form of “World’s Advanced Saving Project”, began four years ago with an initial goal of using 3D print technology to easily 3D print homes in third world countries using locally found materials. Their work in developing clay-based 3D printing technologies is still seen as leading the industry.
But something interesting seems to be happening with this company: they’re shifting into new areas.
Since 2012, they’ve been seen producing not only clay and ceramic 3D printers, but have also produced machines that can print in room-temperature extrudable pastes, photo curable resin and common plastic.
The latter has been through their highly successful “Delta Wasp” program, which offers a number of large scale delta-style plastic extrusion machines. One demonstration machine was built to be 12m tall!
But now there’s something new: “WASP Med”, apparently a division of WASP, is offering 3D printed orthopedic corsets for those with spinal challenges.
The idea is a very good one: such corsets must be custom designed to fit the individual, and require little 3D print material to produce, relatively speaking. For children who are growing, the ability to quickly produce a new corset with adjusted sizing is quite welcome.
WASP Med also provides an admirable goal:
Hundreds of thousands of people, women and children in the World are victims of grave wounds and mutilations for Wars and bloody acts. 3D Printing can relieve these pains. So is born WASPmedical, a working group that connects Researcher and Professional in the Medical field.
It seems that the orthopedic corset is only the first of many custom-fit 3D printed prosthetics, all of which are likely easily produced on WASPs 3D printing equipment.
I believe this is a very significant shift by WASP and follows a pattern emerging in the 3D print world: avoid the hype and focus on real, practical and financially feasible applications. The orthopedic corset falls precisely in that pattern.
While I don’t know how profitable WASP’s 3D printer business has been, it will certainly be augmented by the new medical division’s revenues.
The only question is, what other application will WASP develop next?
Via WASP Medical