Oct 16, 2015 | By Alec

3D printing technology is quickly securing its place within academic surgery rooms throughout the world, but there is one other medical application we rarely hear about: cosmetic surgery. While often simply seen as a hobby for Beverly Hills residents, cosmetic surgery is a huge industry and also helps a lot of people with deformations, scars and burnt tissue. While those patients hitherto had to rely on enhanced photos to see what to eventual results would be, New York-based startup MirrorMe3D has now teamed up with 3D Systems to enable the development of full-color 3D printed enhanced models to give patients a great idea of what’s coming.

At least one of those two partners needs no introduction, as 3D Systems is known throughout the world as one of the biggest innovators in 3D printers. They are also increasingly taking that technology into various other branches and industries, and even the medical world. And as they just announced on their website, they have teamed up with MirrorMe3D, who will be using their high-end 3D printing technology for these very specific cosmetic surgery applications.

MirrorMe3D itself was founded by Dr. Carrie Stern, a New York-based surgeon with years of experience in the field. Stern established this interesting startup with an eye on transforming the plastic surgery process and experiences, both for the patients and doctors alike. After all, 2D photography enhancements often leave patients uncertain about what is coming, while doctors are limited in their ability to prepare. With the help of 3D printing technology, MirrorMe3D is therefore now changing the playing field and are enabling patients to visualize what they will look like after surgery.

As you can see in the video clip below, that process is fairly straightforward for 3D printing veterans. Using realistic scans of patients and high quality image processing software, the ‘after’ features are realistically produced and 3D printed on 3D Systems’ signature high quality machines. ‘These patient-specific models provide confidence and control to patients during the consultation period, and serve as a valuable reference tool for plastic surgeons in the operating room,’ they say. Specifically, MirrorMe3D will be working with 3D Systems’ Healthcare Facility in Colorado, where the 3D models are made using latest Geomagic  Studio and Geomagic FreeForm  software. The results are subsequently 3D printed on 3D Systems’ ProJet 660 full-color printer. The results are shipped to the surgeon in question for review.

The startup’s founder Dr. Stern is also confident that 3D printing is the future of this medical specialism. 'This is a game-changer in the field of cosmetic surgery,’ she said. ‘3D printed models relieve a lot of the anxiety that patients have about their surgical outcome, and assist surgeons during procedures in the OR.’

3D Systems has released similar statements about what their 3D printing technology can do for the medical field and for cosmetic surgery in particular. ‘“MirrorMe3D is a perfect example of how medical professionals today are combining 3D software tools and 3D printing in order to enhance their services and provide more personalized care,’ said Chief Operating Officer at 3DS’s Healthcare department Kevin McAlea said. ‘From virtual surgical planning and simulation to 3D printed models, instruments and implants, our digital thread is powering the future of patient-specific healthcare.’

While some results of this interesting process can be seen below, more of MirrorMe3D’s facial surgery models will be on display at the American Society of Plastic Surgery’s Meeting on October 16-20 in Boston.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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