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Material for prosthetic eyes


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Posted · Material for prosthetic eyes

I'm trying to print a prosthetic eye that I could use, what material would be the most safe to use?

I looked into bio compatible materials but I'm not sure if that type of material would work for my purpose. 


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    Posted · Material for prosthetic eyes



    It may take a bit more information to get a reliable answer to your question.


    For example, are you intending to print a mold or an end use product to rest in the eye socket?


    If the printed part itself will rest in the eye socket, my main concern would be infection control.  I have not seen any FDM-produced surfaces that are smooth enough (totally free of surface defects or lines even at the microscopic level)  and non-porous enough for such an application. 


    That said, if you can provide a bit more information about your research and testing setup, there are some manufacturers here, with any luck one will engage and get you some useful info.



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    Posted · Material for prosthetic eyes

    Or maybe you could encapsulate the 3D-print in transparent PMMA (plexiglass)? At least, PMMA can be sanded and polished to a very smooth finish. And it is water-clear and water-tight. So it will be less likely to cause infections due to bacteria growth.


    Note that silicone is *not* water-tight: water vapours and other gasses go through it. And so do liquid oils, parafines and solvents. I don't know what effect that would have on a prosthetic eye, or on bio-compatibility? The only reason silicone looks water-tight for liquid water, is that it repels water. But it does not repel oils and solvents. I had liquid parafine (from candles) leak through silicone cups, to my surprise. This porosity is also the reason why you should thoroughly wet a silicone mould with silicone oil, prior to casting solvent-containing resins in it. If the mould is already saturated with silicone oil, less solvents can seep into it, and cure in there and destroy the silicone. So the mould will last longer.


    To make a silicone mould, you could start from a finely polished and smoothed 3D-printed eyeball as master.


    Google for: "encapsulate in acrylic -nails" (without the quotation marks, but with the "minus nails" part, otherwise you only get weird fingernails...)


    In a totally 3D-printed eye, you are definitely going to have trouble with bacteria growth in all the little holes inside the model, and in the layer-lines on the surface.


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