An unnamed patient made history last week when part of his skull was surgically replaced with a 3D printed part. 3D printing, where a machine lays down layers of polymers according to a digital CAD file, is slowly changing the world of manufacturing.
The patient had his head imaged with a 3D scanner, and then Oxford Performance Materials, based in Connecticut, tailored the prosthetic to the man’s needs. Tiny surface details etched into the plastic encourage the growth of organic cells.
The company recently won FDA approval, and says it can create an implant within two weeks of receiving a 3D scan.