A cancer survivor's reconstructive surgery was made safer and more successful with the same 3D printing technology responsible for those Yahoo! giveaways from your last conference.

A partial list of objects made with 3D printing technology in the past year:

A working acoustic guitar Miniature replicas of human beings made from photos All components for a 2,400 square foot house (in under 24 hours) A functioning pistol (but not the ammunition) A human jaw prosthesis

Yes, you read that last entry correctly. Earlier this month, plastic surgeons used 3D printers to make an accurate upper jaw prosthesis for a 41-year-old cancer survivor in Bangalore. The patient’s treatment for cancer of the palate introduced complications including lockjaw and local fibrosis which made him unable to open his mouth more than a centimeter. This unsurprisingly affected his ability to eat, drink and speak.

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