Every now and then, you wake up and realize you live in a future our ancestors can only dream of. Like today, when you learn a dude who needed a new skull just printed one out for himself.
The man, who remains unidentified, suffered an injury that damaged 75% of his skull. This is generally a gateway to an unpleasant world of Mel Gibson jokes and pain. So, instead of crying about it, the guy just got himself a replacement from Oxford Performance Materials:
Oxford Performance Materials President and Chief Executive Scott Defelice said 3-D printing allows any type of bone to be replaced with an implant. The technology can shorten surgery time, be less risky and cost less, he said.
Essentially he got his head scanned, a replacement designed, and they just tucked that into his noggin.
If this seems like something that should be more commonplace, it will be: OPM just received the nod from the Food and Drug Administration to start printing out implants. The company believes it’ll be running off 500 implants for patients in the United States alone.
To this point, if you had skull cancer or the bone was destroyed in a serious injury, you had to get a metal plate, putting you at both ongoing medical risk and making it impossible to get through a metal detector. This is a piece of plastic designed to take abuse. True, he won’t be getting into boxing any time soon, but hey, we’ll take a plastic skull over no skull.