Surgeons at Morriston Hospital in Swansea are using 3D printing technology to create titanium implants for a patient whose face was crushed in an accident. This was reported to be the first use of 3D printing to recreate a face after an injury.

Using CT scans, they created a mirror image of the side of the patient’s face that was not damaged by the motorbike accident. They hope to begin the reconstruction process very soon.

This reconstruction project is actually the feature exhibit in “3D: Printing The Future” at the Science Museum in London until July 2014.

Source:
BBC News

For more information on 3D printing technologies to create body parts, see this video:

Comments

  1. #1 Mary
    November 14, 2013

    Wow! Its amazing that scientists are able to reconstruct faces using 3D printers. It is also amazing that 3D organ printing may help end waiting list for organ transplant recipients: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/25/3d-printed-organs_n_3983971.html.

  2. #2 Pat
    November 14, 2013

    3D printing has a lot of potential to do good things in this world, whether it is helping veterans through making prosthetic limbs or even helping citizens who recently got into an accident like you described in this blog post. But this does not mean that 3D printing can be only used for good. In fact, this past Tuesday a 3D printer was used to make the first metal gun. I am not saying guns are bad, but where do we draw the line. There are many possibilities, both good and bad, that can come from 3D printing.
    Source: http://nocera.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/11/weekend-gun-report-november-8-10-2013/

  3. #3 Sam R
    November 15, 2013

    This is extremely interesting! And apparently it is becoming a widespread process to use the 3D printer for usable body parts. The process itself is known as “bioprinting,” and actually has the potential to create not only solid masses that the body can use, but tissue as well. In fact, one of the many goals of bioprinting is to be able to replace damaged tissue from a heart attack with usable tissue-replacement from the printer. Maybe the most similar to your article, though, is the reconstruction of the skull of King Richard III at the University of Leicester. The recreation of the skull is similar to the recreation of the undamaged portion of the man’s face you mentioned here. If you want to read more about it you can go to this article: http://scienceblogs.com/channel/life-science/?utm_source=globalChannel&utm_medium=link

  4. #4 Craig
    Las Vegas
    November 20, 2013

    So I guess there will have to be a waiting period and background check to buy a 3D printer, since you can make a gun with it?