The advent of 3D printing has ignited a frenzy of discussion over the potential uses for the technology. Discussions have been waged over whether or not 3D printing should be used to make guns.  Pop up stores have allowed customers to create their own 3D printed trinkets.

Now it has been reported that 3D printing technology has been used to create a facial prosthetic.  The 3D printed face is just the latest in a string of 3D printed items.

The 3D Printed Prosthetic Face

The facial prosthetic was created for Eric Moger, a British restaurant manager, who was left with a gaping hole on the left side of his face following a surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.  The 3D printed facial prosthetic was created by a dental surgeon and implant specialist, Dr. Andrew Dawood. Dr. Dawood already had experience with 3D printing.  He had previously experimented with 3D printing in order to practice surgical procedures.  He would recreate his patients’ jaws in order to practice the surgical procedures.

In order to create Moger’s face, Dr. Dawood created a facial blueprint with CT and facial scans.  With the information from the facial blueprint a titanium jaw replacement was constructed.  The titanium jaw is held in place by 2 inch long rods and is a scaffold for the prosthetic. Dr. Dawood also created a plastic plate in Moger’s mouth that would allow him to eat and drink.  Moger had been unable to eat or drink following the surgery and was fed with a tube that went directly into his stomach. Additionally, nylon and magnets were used to build a removable mask.

The 3D Printed Prosthetic Face

The 3D printed prosthetic face has allowed Moger to move on with his life.  He is able to eat and drink.  He is also planning a wedding.  He was engaged prior to the surgery, and is now able to continue with his plans for his wedding.

[Images via gizmodo]