Cancer survivor, 54, becomes the first person in the world to get a 3D printed ...

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A cancer survivor has become the first person to receive a 3D printed face prosthesis made with a smart phone after a tumour ravaged a hole in his cheek.

The ground-breaking procedure used a free app on a smartphone to build and print a 3D image of the missing part of the patient's face.

Researchers now hope to train as many people as possible to make the affordable and practical technology accessible in remote areas of the world where people have minimal health care services.

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Carlito Conceiçao, 54,  has become the first person to receive a 3D printed face prosthesis made with a smartphone after a tumour ravaged a hole in his cheek. He was diagnosed  with an aggressive form of cancer in the upper palette of the mouth, in 2008

Carlito Conceiçao, 54,  has become the first person to receive a 3D printed face prosthesis made with a smartphone after a tumour ravaged a hole in his cheek. He was diagnosed  with an aggressive form of cancer in the upper palette of the mouth, in 2008

Carlito Conceiçao, 54,  has become the first person to receive a 3D printed face prosthesis made with a smartphone after a tumour ravaged a hole in his cheek. He was diagnosed  with an aggressive form of cancer in the upper palette of the mouth, in 2008

HOW IT WAS DONE

Dr Rodrigo Salazar from Paulista University (UNIP) in Sao Paulo used a free app called Autodesk 123D Catch, which turns photos into 3D models.

He took 15 images of the trauma area in a planned sequence at three different heights.

The photos were uploaded and converted into a virtual model of Mr Conceiçao's face.

Dr Salazar said: 'We mirrored the healthy side of Carlito's face then digitally sculpted it to fit the trauma side.'

The prototype of the patient's face was then created on a low-cost printer, which created a silicone prosthesis.

This was hand-finished by volunteer clinical artists who added skin colours, texture and realistic wrinkles to give a natural looking fit.

The artificial attachment was fitted with magnets that lock onto three titanium screws embedded under Mr Conceiçao's eyebrow.

Carlito Conceiçao, 54, was diagnosed with upper maxillary carcinoma, an aggressive form of cancer in the upper palette of the mouth, in 2008.

The cancer spread rapidly, destroying facial tissue on the right side of his Mr Conceiçao's face and half of the roof of his mouth, as well as damaging his throat.

Life-saving surgery halted the spread before it reached his brain, but when the tumour was removed it left a giant hole.

Mr Conceiçao lost his right eye socket and part of his nose, sending him into depression.

But in February, he was offered an innovative procedure which uses a smart phone for photogrammetry to build and print a 3D image of the missing part of his face.

The hand-finished silicon prosthesis has transformed his life by restoring his self-esteem.

Mr Conceiçao said: 'My first prosthesis was fragile, poor quality and kept falling off because it was held on by glue. I felt totally disfigured and I looked terrible.

'I lost all my confidence and fell into a deep depression.

'I couldn't work and became a recluse because people would stare and point whenever I went out. I used sunglasses to cover up the area most of the time.

'I was so impressed by the result of the new one, I cried when they fitted it.'

Dr Rodrigo Salazar from Paulista University (UNIP) in Sao Paulo used a free app called Autodesk 123D Catch, which turns photos into 3D models. He took 15 images of the trauma area. The photos were uploaded and converted into a virtual model of Mr Conceiçao's face

Dr Rodrigo Salazar from Paulista University (UNIP) in Sao Paulo used a free app called Autodesk 123D Catch, which turns photos into 3D models. He took 15 images of the trauma area. The photos were uploaded and converted into a virtual model of Mr Conceiçao's face

Dr Rodrigo Salazar, a dentist and specialist in oral rehabilitation, from Paulista University (UNIP) in Sao Paulo, has been leading the project for two years.

He said: 'Brazil doesn't have the resources to equip all of its clinical centres

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