OffBeat

3D printing’s oddest application yet: Cheaper, better prosthetic eyes

While people have already used 3D printing to make sex toys, guns, and even duck feet, U.K.-based Fripp Design has found an even more surprising application: prosthetic eyes.

With 3D printing, Fripp Design says it can churn out as many as 150 prosthetic eyes an hour, and sell them for as low as $160 each. That’s a major improvement over glass prosthetic eyes, which not only take weeks to make, but also sell for thousands of dollars.

What’s more surprising, though, is just how realistic Fripp Design’s creations look. Not only can 3D printing replicate the nuances of the iris pretty well, but the technology is also eerily good at replicating the web of veins that surround it.

3D-printing-eyes

Above: Check out those veins.

While it’s not immediately clear whom all of these 3D printed eyeballs would go to, Frip Design says they would be a good fit for countries like India, where poor people who lose their eyes are less likely to be able to afford costly prosthetics.

Eyeballs aren’t the only body parts Fripp Design is looking at, however. The company is also working on 3D-printed nose and ear replacements for people with facial disfigurements.

0 comments