3D printing has many applications, but medicine has to be one of the more promising and exciting areas — and one that's seeing constant advancement. Australia is one of a few countries staying ahead of the game, with a Melbourne man recently receiving a custom-made, 3D-printed titanium jaw.
The manufacturing of the jaw and the surgery was a combined effort by the University of Melbourne, 3D Medical and Epworth Hospital. As the ABC's Stephanie Ferrier writes, the recipient, 32-year old Richard Stratton, required the replacement after years of living with increasing pain and discomfort, thanks to a childhood deformity.
The article goes on to say the jaw was made from powdered titanium and modelled to be a "perfect fit" via computed tomography scans. A test version of the patient's skull was used to make sure the jaw was correct, before a five-hour surgery last month to secure it to the real deal.
It's a far cry from Neuromancer-style replacement organs, but you have to start somewhere.
Image: ABC News