3-D printing replaces most of man’s skull

Some are fascinated with 3-D printing. One man can’t get it out of his head.

An unidentified man had 75 percent of his skull replaced with a 3-D printed implant made by Oxford Performance Materials, a Connecticut company. The surgery this week was the first time a patient received an implant made specifically for him using 3-D printing technology.

The patient, whose name and injury OPM would not disclose, had his head scanned as part of the procedure.

The operation marks a big step in the advancement of 3-D printing technology, the company said. With 3-D printers, users can produce objects with a molding machine based on computer digital models.

The 3-D printing technology is ideal for implants custom-shaped to each patient’s anatomy, the company said.

OPM 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.

“We believe our technology is highly disruptive, and it’ll widely affect the orthopedic industry,” he said.

The type of implant, which is formally known as the OsteoFab Patient Specific Cranial Device, is made out of PEKK, an ultra-high-performance polymer, according to the company’s website.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved OPM’s technology last month, clearing the way for the surgery.

OPM said it can make an implant within two weeks of getting a patient’s scans, and believes that as many as 500 people per month could make use of the implants in the U.S. alone.

More in Local News

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

This week’s Herald Super Kid is Nathan Nicholson of Snohomish High School. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
‘The future is biotech,’ but for now he’s busy with everything

Snohomish senior Nathan Nicholson is a student leader and media master.

Longboarders from near and far hit the trail in Arlington

The Centennial Sk8 Festival was serious competition for some and just for fun for others.

Council passes six-month moratorium on safe injection sites

Proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

Crews recover body of man who fell over Wallace Falls

The area where the man fell is called Sky Valley Lookout, 2.4 miles from the parking lot.

Luring attempt reported in Mountlake Terrace

The driver allegedly instructed a boy to get in the truck and help grab a scooter he was giving away.

A place to live: Clearing a barrier for former sex workers

A nonprofit’s house “will be a safe place” for former prostitutes and sex-trafficking victims.

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
How can Everett Station become a vibrant part of city?

A neighborhood alliance focused on long-term revitalization will update the public Tuesday.

Agency didn’t expect such big demand for needle clean-up kits

The Snohomish Health District ran out of supplies quickly, but more are arriving daily.

Most Read