Esther M Mace

Forensic Art & Facial Imaging MSc

An investigation into the potential of age-progressive prosthetics

About

black and white profile picture of Esther Mace

The face is the most recognisable part of the human identity. It is often the first thing we notice, the part of the body that we talk to, and the part that conveys a whole plethora of emotions. It is therefore recognised that any injury in the region of the face can have a dramatic impact on a person’s identity.

At present, children undergoing facial repair following an accident attend clinics every 6 weeks to adjust any fixtures, due to the constant changes in the face during youth. It is understandable that this can be a strain on the children’s mental and emotional development, and they may start to associate their identity around this injury.

With this in mind, this project investigates whether it was possible to create an age-progressive prosthetic that would sit in situ for up to year and adjust to any changes in the child’s face during this time. The prostheses were designed using 3D software before being 3D printed; which is becoming a fast-growing method in the maxillofacial field for creating custom-made implants for patients.

Prosthetic A in situ on Freeform

The first prosthetic concept, A, in situ on Freeform, and anterior, posterior, and profile views of the 3D sculpted models at 1mm, 2mm and 3mm thicknesses.

Printed models of Prosthetic A

Printed 3D models of Prosthetic A in pearlescent PLA plastic. Models shown are from 1mm to 3mm, with 0.5 intervals. Views shown are anterior and posterior.

Prosthetic A models cast in silicone

The printed models for Prosthetic A were then cast in silicone to create the finished prosthetic. The anterior and posterior views are shown here.

Prosthetic B in situ on Freeform

The second prosthetic concept, B, in situ on Freeform, and anterior, posterior and profile views of the 3D sculpted models; the narrow and moulded designs.

Prosthetic B assembled

The models for Prosthetic B were printed in pearlescent PLA plastic, before being assembled using a strip of silicone to ensure the prosthetic could stretch. Views shown are anterior and posterior.

Prosthetic A 2.5mm model on skull

The 2.5 model was the most successful design from Prosthetic A. This is shown on a 3D print of the 8 year old skull it was designed from, as well as anterior, posterior, 3/4 and profile views of how it appears on both the skull of an 8 year old and the skull of a 12 year old.

Prosthetic B moulded design on skull

The moulded design was the successful model from Prosthetic B. This is shown on a 3D print of the 8 year old skull it was designed from, as well as anterior, posterior, 3/4 and profile views of how it appears on both the skull of an 8 year old and the skull of a 12 year old.

Prosthetic A in situ

A 3D printed, and painted cross-section of how the 2.5mm model of Prosthetic A would appear in situ. Views are frontal, 3/4 and profile.

Prosthetic B in situ

A 3D printed, and painted cross-section of how the moulded model of Prosthetic B would appear in situ. Views are frontal, 3/4 and profile.

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