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Home / News / Man has 75 percent of his skull replaced with 3D-printed implant

Man has 75 percent of his skull replaced with 3D-printed implant

3D printing and science team up to help improve us one body part at a time

“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology”. Those words seem pretty relevant to us today as an anonymous American man readies himself to receive a 3D-printed prosthetic fragment which will replace 75 percent of his skull.

Oxford Performance Materials will be providing the 3D-printed fragment. The patient’s skull will be digitally scanned to create a matched skull fragment which will be built up layer by layer. The technique is advanced enough to produce tiny surface and edge details which will encourage cell growth and bone attachment too.

The benefits of the PEKK plastic being used over metal is that current titanium and stainless steel prosthetic are less flexible and more susceptible to abrasion. The 3D-printed plastic skull fragment will also be more similar to the density and stiffness of bone.

Up to 500 US patients could benefit from this sort of treatment every month. In future, if little Timmy breaks his leg, all you’ll need to do is scan it with your handy MakerBot 3D scanner, print out a new bone and… well, we’d still leave the rest up to the qualified surgeons. But at least you’ll save them a bit of time pre-op.

[Oxford Performance Materials via Dvice]

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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