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New Prosthetic Ear Thanks to 3D Printing
This is the story of Kai, a chinese 4-years old boy born without one ear. As the boy was growing up, his parents started worrying about possible consequences on the little boy social life and also health.
With two strokes of luck, thanks to 3D-System, Kai could get a brand new 3d-printed silicone ear, here’s the story:
Doctors first took highly detailed 3D scans of Kai’s left ear. They then turned those scans into a 3D model which was an exact replica, in shape and size, of his good ear. Next it was time to print the ear out on a powder-based 3D printer that’s housed at the J. Willard Marriott Library. The final 3D print, made up of a binder material as well as a powder, had a similar consistency to plaster. Researchers then used this 3D printed ear as a mold to create a more realistic looking silicone version, and painted it to match Kai’s skin tone perfectly.
It was finally time to introduce the ear to Kai and attach it to his head with a special form of medical glue. Incredibly the ear is nearly impossible to recognize as silicone, and has provided Kai, who starts kindergarten in a few months, with lifelong self-assurance which he otherwise would have lacked, and just in time to start formal schooling. As Kai grows, new scans and 3D prints will be required as he outgrows this current ear, but he will no longer have to worry about the little things, like why he has to wear a band around his head to keep his glasses on, or why other children might point at him or laugh.
Here is also the dedicated Forum to discuss about the medical issue.
via 4-Year-Old Boy Gets a New Prosthetic Ear Thanks to 3D Printing – 3DPrint.com.