3D Printed Nose and Ear Replacements Just a Year Away

(Dezeen) 3D printed nose and ear replacements for accident victims and people with facial disfigurements could be just a year away, according to a design firm working on a new generation of prosthetics. Patients could get a customized nose or ear printed within 48 hours, rather than the ten weeks it takes to make a hand-made prosthesis, Fripp Design & Research believes.
“It’s time saving and cost saving,” the company’s founder Tom Fripp said. “Particularly, the time-saving is great for the patient. Traditionally to have one made you’re waiting for about ten weeks for a hand-made prosthesis. From start to finish we would scan, design and print within 48 hours.” Fripp said that the technology could be ready this time next year, although getting the health services to embrace it was the biggest challenge. “I think to actually get anywhere from now to [having an] available service you’re talking about a year,” he said. “It requires some sort of acceptance into the health services. That’s the biggest barrier to it.”