3D Printing Industry

The Courageous Face of 3D printing

After suffering traumatic injuries from a motorcycle accident in 2012, Stephen Power, of Cardiff, Wales, was left disfigured on the left side of his face. But with a little help from 3D printing and a dedicated team of doctors, his face has been reconstructed. And he’s become one of the world’s first trauma patients to have 3D printing used in every stage of the procedure. 

Using CT scans, the surgical team at Morriston Hospital in Swansea worked with designers and engineers at Cardiff Metropolitan University to create a 3D model of Mr. Power’s skull, which resulted in greater precision than in traditional reconstructive work.  

Through an eight-hour procedure, Mr. Power’s cheekbone was broken in three places and then refractured using cutting guides, following a 3D printed template. After the remodelling, a medical-grade titanium implant, printed in Belgium, was used to hold the bones in place.

The result? Greater facial symmetry and a happier, more confident Mr. Power.

(Stephen before and after the operation)

His operation was such a groundbreaking procedure that it’s currently on exhibition, 3D Printing: The Future, at the Science Museum in London.
Watch the BBC video for more info.