Development of a customised 3D printer as a potential tool for direct printing of patient-specific facial prosthesis

Publication Name

International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology


This study demonstrates a cost-effective portable fabrication system for 3D printing complex structures from polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Material development and characterisation allowed for the design and production of a 3D printer that is capable of fabricating PDMS structures using a photo-initiator and a LED curing process. A 3D model of a participant’s ear was captured using a handheld scanner. These data were used to directly 3D print an ear. Micro-extrusion direct deposition of PDMS at room temperature is demonstrated via a custom designed 3D printer, with in situ UV cross-linking to facilitate curing of the PDMS during the 3D printing process. This 3D printer has great potential to be used as a fast and facile fabrication approach to create facial and other prosthesis. Future developments will also focus on other application areas such as microfluidics, flexible electronics, and other biomedical applications.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

Australian National Fabrication Facility



Link to publisher version (DOI)