3d Scanning Used for Facial Reconstruction

create your best face using 3d scanning

3D scanning is looking to do some wonderful things in the medical industry, especially in the area of facial reconstruction.  Whether it is through some accident, or just a natural birth defect, some people have to either live with an abnormality or to seek out a way to try to restore a more normal appearance.  Whatever the case may be, researchers are working on a great ways to get it done.

royal free hospital, imperial college london making progress

Royal Free Hospital and Imperial College London has been doing research projects that will improve the way we do facial surgery. The two sought out several thousand people willing to voluntarily have a 3D laser scanned image taken of their faces to make a large database with many different ethnicities, age groups, and face expressions. The resulting database can be used in medicine and also for broader applications such as facial recognition technology.

Facial reconstruction for people with deformed faces allows them to have a more normal face again.  One of the goals of the project is to gather enough in their database so that they will be able to reconstruct a face of anyone, of any ethnicity and age.  The variety in the database should give them enough sampling of different facial construction that they will be able to reconstruct a face that looks very similar to the person’s original face without any deformation.  While the ability to actually put this into practice is still a few years away, there are still some immediate benefits for it right now. Since the 3d laser scanned image database can produce a 3D visual image of what that reconstructed persons face might look like, the image could be 3D printed to help let the patient know what the results of a procedure might look like.

reconstructive surgery using 3d scanning

Another possible use for this technology is to reconstruct facial features based on pictures.  Using the database of 3D laser scanned faces, there will be potential for surgeons to use a simple photograph of the person before their faces was deformed to reconstruct the original face. This is amazing. Imagine a small boy whose face was deformed by some accident. By simply providing pictures taken before the accident, a 3D printing application could restore the boys face so that he wouldn’t have to suffer the rest of his life with an awkward appearance. This is only one example. The same could be said for soldiers wounded in battle, or a professional soccer player who was kicked in the face. The possibilities are great!

In conclusion, 3D scanning is being used in some pretty cool ways.  It will be fun to see what becomes of it. And it will be fun to see what new idea will arise when people keep putting ingenuity and technology face to face with real problems in this world.  It will also be interesting to see the first person who gets to enjoy the benefit of facial reconstructive surgery based on the research project. I’m sure it will change their life.

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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