British Man Receives the World's First 3D Printed Prosthetic Eye: 'I've Always Felt Self-Conscious'

Steve Verze of London received a 3D printed prosthetic eye that offers clearer definition and depth, according to Moorfields Eye Hospital

Steve Verze
Photo: Moorfields Eye Hospital

The future of 3D printing is looking great.

Steve Verze of London became the first person in the world to receive a 3D printed prosthetic eye, Moorfields Eye Hospital announced Thursday in a news release.

"I've needed a prosthetic eye since I was 20, and I've always felt self-conscious about it," said Verze, 47.

"When I leave my home, I often take a second glance in the mirror, and I've not liked what I've seen. This new eye looks fantastic and, being based on 3D digital printing technology, it's only going to be better and better."

The hospital describes the 3D printed eye as "a true biomimic," a more realistic prosthetic featuring clearer definition and real depth to the pupil.

According to the press release, 3D printed prosthetic eyes are faster to make than general acrylic prosthetic eyes, which are hand-painted and can take about six weeks to create.

In comparison, a 3D printed prosthetic eye can be made in about 2 to 3 weeks.

Verze got fitted for his new eye earlier this month and went home with it on Thanksgiving.

"We are excited about the potential for this fully digital prosthetic eye," said Professor Mandeep Sagoo, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital. "It clearly has the potential to reduce waiting lists."

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