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mirror4When you go shopping for shoes, you try them on. Before you buy a new suit, you also try it on. When you are in the market for a new car, I’m willing to bet you take it for a test drive. These are all relatively important decisions that you will make, mostly on a financial level. While it is difficult to trust a car salesman or even perhaps the man at the shoe store telling you that the pair you have picked out will be the “most comfortable pair of shoes you’ve ever worn”, for some reason when people undergo cosmetic surgery, they are fine leaving their future looks in the hands of a stranger.

Sure, there is much more extensive education required, and guidelines that must be followed when you go to school to become a plastic surgeon, especially when compared to someone looking at a career in automobile sales, but still thousands of individuals undergo the surgical knife every month in hopes of altering their looks for the better. While most of these surgeries turn out well, at least in the eyes of the patient — I must admit I’m no fan of football sized lips or breasts the size of watermelons — there are some patients who end up disappointed with their results.

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One company hopes to have a solution to this though. MirrorMe3D looks to bring “3D printing to the world of cosmetic surgery”. They are doing this by allowing surgeons to create 3D printed replicas depicting various cosmetic changes to a patient. This allows the patient to see exactly how they will look, in 3-dimensions, prior to undergoing the unforgiving knife.

MirrorMe3D has teamed with crisalix to allow doctors to generate 3D models of their patents and then have them printed out. MirrorMe3D is able to provide detailed 3D prints of patients from models made on various 3D camera systems, including 3DMD, Di3D, Canfield, and more.

mirror2Founder of MirrorMe3D, Carrie Stern, also happens to be a plastic surgeon in New York. From experience, he realizes how important it is to present clients with the best representation of post-surgical results possible. This is why he created MirrorMe3D. The 3D printed models are printed in gypsum and are priced between $60 and $300 depending on their size.

For doctors, this technology could be extremely beneficial in convincing more patients to undergo surgery. The idea that you can now hold a replica of what your “future self” will look like, seems to be quite enticing indeed. The 3D printed faces also allow doctors to show examples of other surgeries that they have performed, working as a virtual resume of sorts.

“By holding a model your new face, you can be certain that your goals and expectations match those of your surgeon,” the company explains. “A 3D model will give you the greatest insight into the transformative effects of aesthetic surgery.”

mirror1It’s not just faces that the company specializes in. They do breasts as well. These upper body 3D prints allow patients to see exactly how their post surgical breast implants will look.

Stern has already received some interesting requests from doctors. One surgeon requested a bronze-plated model of breasts that he wanted to display in his waiting room, while another wanted a full-body replica of himself that he could put in his office chair for when he was running late.

Without a doubt, this is the future of cosmetic surgery. The idea of being able to accurately represent post-surgical appearances provides benefits for everyone involved, from patient to doctors to patient’s family. It’s only a matter of time before cosmetic surgeons everywhere begin using 3D printing to help their patients better understand what their final appearance will be.

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What do you think about the idea of plastic surgeons creating 3D printed replicas of what a patient will look like after cosmetic surgery? Is it a good or bad idea? Discuss in the MirrorMe3D forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 





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