Back when prosthetics were first created, they weren’t necessarily designed to mimic an actual human body part. For the most part, they were designed to be functional, which makes sense. However, over the years we have started to see more realistic prosthetics, some of them even sophisticated enough to almost mimic how a real body part works.
Now it looks like in the UK, an engineer by the name of Steve Verze from Hackney is now the first person in the world to receive a 3D printed prosthetic eye. As you can see in the photo above, it is not necessarily clear which eye the prosthesis is in. It is through the use of 3D printing which helps to create a more realistic appearance and can add a feeling of “depth” to the pupil.
This is against prosthetic eyes in the past which are traditionally hand painted and don’t always necessarily look like the person’s real eye. It may also take a while, around six weeks, to complete. It’s also a mildly invasive procedure, but with 3D printing all of those worries are gone.
Not only can 3D printing help create a realistic prosthesis within hours, the technology can be used to scan a person’s orbit to create a better fit, which is a less invasive procedure. Overall, including the process of finishing, polishing and adjusting the eye, it is said to take 2-3 weeks, which is almost half the time compared to traditional prosthetics.
According to Professor Mandeep Sagoo, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and professor of ophthalmology at NIHR Biomedical Research Center at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, âWe hope that the next clinical trial will provide us with strong evidence of the value of this new technology, showing the difference it makes for patients. It clearly has the potential to reduce waiting lists.
Deposit moorfields.nhs.uk. Learn more about 3D printing and health. Source: