RTD2015 32 Synthetic Anatomies, Co-designing desirable 3D printed facial prosthetics

Desirable prosthesis is an early stage investigation formulated to explore the creative potential of 3D scanning and 3D printing in designing alternative facial prosthesis. The loss or disfigurement of a person’s facial feature such as a nose or an ear is typically supplanted with a hand crafted silicon prosthesis designed to replicate the persons face pre surgery. Our research sets out to counter the traditional medically orientated

art of camouflaged reconstructive silicon prosthesis and explore the design of 3D printed distinct and desirable prosthesis. Together, the participant, designers and a maxillofacial surgeon explore ways to think about how new prosthesis might fit, feel, empower and be made. In conjunction to this we explore 3D laser scanning and the Objet Connex multi-material 3D printer to build prosthesis which allow greater facial expression and personalisation for diverse social activities. Designing desirable facial prosthesis proposes a shift from localised hand craft to a global digital process where prosthetic clients from around the world can interact, design and print personal prosthesis on ‘state of the art’ machines at a cost well below those hand crafted. Potentially enabling individual expression in performance, fit and aesthetics rather than the predominately ill-fitting attempts at camouflage currently prevalent.



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