If you have paid any attention to Hollywood for the last 20 years, you are very familiar with the amazing miracles that can be worked through modern cosmetic surgery. Things are lifted, tucked, reshaped, smoothed, removed, or rearranged in ways that make the human body seem a bit like modeling clay. Setting aside some of the more horrible examples of surgery gone astray, it should be quickly apparent that the possibilities for people who have been disfigured to have their appearances positively altered through cosmetic surgery are only getting better ever day.
So, what stands between people and the plastic surgery solution? It comes down to money. Not only are these types of procedures expensive, but as they are ‘cosmetic’ and not medically necessary, when it comes to choices such as paying for housing or undergoing a surgical procedure, the former will always win. Such was the case for the child of a poor family in India who lost his left ear in a horrific accident. The opportunity to receive cosmetic surgery was simply not present due to the cost.
However, the panel of doctors who had tended him as he recovered from his accident weren’t content to throw their hands up in the air and give his ear up as a lost cause. Instead, they approached Novabeans, an engineering company that works to advance medical science through the use of 3D printing technology.
The contributions made to the medical field through 3D printing are widely known, and together, both the doctors and the engineers hoped that they could create a custom silicone ear for this child at a greatly reduced cost.
The first step in the creation of the prosthetic ear was to scan the undamaged right ear and create a 3D model of it as a mirrored copy. The final prototype of the mirrored ear was created in resin and, I have to admit, looks a bit alarming. However, that was simply a final test before the prosthetic piece itself was printed in medical grade silicone, colored to exactly match the child’s skin tone. The post processing included precision dosing and curing to allow the material and form to function in the most similar way possible to a working ear.
Novabeans public relations manager Richa Sharma explained their commitment to such contributions:
“Every year, hundreds of thousands of individuals are disfigured due to tragic accidents. Many of these cases involve either the nose or the ears. Novabeans’ engineers have done innovative development in medical science using 3D printing technology, working with local Otorhinolaryngologists (ENT Specialists) in India…[This] technology is used to help disabled people live a dignified life!”
We follow Novabeans and their innovative commitments continually. Cases like these are incredibly inspiring, and companies like Novabeans will hopefully begin to transform the plastic surgery industry–and offer many more options–for those who really need help but cannot afford it.
Is the future of facial prostheses 3D printing? Let us know your thoughts in the 3D Printed Ear forum thread on 3DPB.com.
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
3D Printing News Briefs, February 17, 2024: Shot Blasting, Service Bureaus, & More
In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting out with post-processing, as SKZ Würzburg is using a shot blast system from AM Solutions for its research. Moving on to business,...
MIT Researchers Use AI to Optimize Stiffness and Toughness Balance in 3D Printed Parts
In January, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) published a study in the journal Science Advances, which details an algorithm they...
Northrop Grumman Taps GKN Aerospace for 3D Printed Solid Rocket Motors
At the beginning of January, UK aerospace manufacturer GKN Aerospace announced it was investing over $60 million to boost its additive manufacturing (AM) capacity in Trollhättan, Sweden. Now, GKN is...
3D Printing News Unpeeled: 3D Printed Golf Clubs, an India Made SLS Printer, MIT Liquid Metal and a Vietnamese Trauma Implant
After Cobra’s King putters, the firm now has a line of 8 clubs that use MJF binder jet. The Agera and others have different sized insets and cost $349. The...
Upload your 3D Models and get them printed quickly and efficiently.