3D printing adds ‘skull making’ to its seemingly endless list of uses
On the one hand 3D printers are awesome, the way you can increasingly employ them to make increasingly just about everything, sometimes out of crap you didn’t want anyway. On the other hand, one wonders: When will it all end? Will we soon just be able to create everything in a fucking 3D printer and screw all other forms of manufacturing and the people engaged in it? Are we going to 3D print our food? Maybe our houses? Are we going to 3D print ourselves NEW BODY PARTS? Ha ha ha uh actually this guy just had 75 percent of his skull replaced with a 3D-printed skull.
The new skull is the product of a Connecticut company called Oxford Performance Materials, which makes both biomedical devices and industrial parts. Here is a little bit about how this skull was made:
His head was scanned before a prosthetic was printed using a 3D printer. Surface details were etched into the polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) material to encourage the growth of tissue and new bone. PEKK is a high-performance biomedical polymer that can be sold in a raw or semi-finished form, and it began being used for Additive Manufacturing technologies back in 2006. It is mechanically very similar to bone, does not interfere with x-rays, and helps prompt new bone to form.
This technology was patented early this year and represents a big advance in medical 3D printing. Skulls are not the only body part that can be successfully replicated using 3D printing technology. A child recently got a 3D-printed hand. And a woman recently received a 3D-printed jawbone. God, progress is wonderful, isn’t it? Now if someone could just make a brand-new 3D-printed ozone layer!