The first person in the world to receive a 3D-printed prosthetic eye was a patient at the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation in the United Kingdom.
A 3D printed eye prosthesis has advantages over a traditional acrylic prosthesis. The main difference is that it looks more realistic than a regular prosthesis and strongly resembles a real eye.
Compared to the manufacturing process of a traditional acrylic eye prosthesis, 3D printing uses an eye scan as opposed to invasive methods using an empty eye socket. Due to the complexity of the traditional acrylic prosthetics process, children may need general anesthesia. However, the non-invasive measures of the 3D printing method avoid the use of anesthetics.
Another significant advantage of using the 3D printing method is the efficiency and speed of the production process. While traditional acrylic eye prostheses take about six weeks to complete due to the need to paint them by hand, it only takes an optometrist two to three weeks to finish, polish and fit the prosthesis.