UK-based product design, research and business consultancy Fripp Design & Research may have made one of the most exciting medical advances in years.
Instead of the many weeks that it takes most companies to create a custom prosthetic, Fripp Design & Research have designed a new technique that can produce 3D-printed prosthetics within 48 hours. This quick and relatively affordable method can help patients with missing facial parts, for example, get back to their normal lives in less time. The project is being exhibited as part of the 3D Printshow Hospital at the 3D Printshow in London. The exhibition is an “interactive technology event that’s inspiring, entertaining and educational,” and looks at how 3D printing is transforming healthcare.
The team at Fripp Design & Research are also researching into 3D-printed eyes with the potential of having an effective cost price of £100, as opposed to £4,000 which is the average amount for ocular prosthetics at present. The technique uses color 3D printing to create soft-tissue prostheses aimed for use by people with missing ears, noses or other face parts. The designs are printed with bio-compatible starch and silicone that will match the wearer’s skin tone. The team told Dezeen, “the people who are going to benefit the most from this are the individuals currently in the developing world who go without because they don’t have the money to pay for a skilled technician to build one.”
Fripp Design & Research aims to roll out the technology late 2014.
Watch the process video below: