A new, lifelike three-dimensional printed mask created by reconstructive plastic surgeon Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, DDS, in partnership with the LaGuardia Studio at NYU, may encourage people to donate the faces of dying family members for use in face transplants.
Dr. Rodriguez tells The New York Times, “Maybe a silicone mask approximates 75 percent accuracy.” He continues, “A 3-D printed mask can approximate 95 percent.”
Dr. Rodriguez hopes that a better replacement mask will inspire more potential donors to say yes to face donation, reducing the wait time for the pool of face transplant candidates.
The mask is created using a hand-held device that has five camera lenses to scan multiple angles of the donor’s face. Technicians at LaGuardia Studio retouch the three-dimensional image before it is sent to a large printer. The advanced printer uses acrylic-based photopolymer to create more than 10,000 layers over approximately 30 hours to compose the mask.
Read more from The New York Times.