A combination of undated handout images released by ABMU Health Board on March 12, 2014 shows a portrait of British man Stephen Power (L) before having facial reconstruction surgery following a motorcycle accident and then after the surgery (R) that rebuilt his face using 3D printed parts at the Morriston Hospital in Swansea. Stephen Power from Cardiff in Wales is thought to be one of the first trauma patients in the world to have a facial reconstruction procedure in which 3D printing was used at every stage. The 29-year-old suffered multiple trauma injuries in an accident in 2012. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT " AFP PHOTO / ABMU HEALTH BOARD " - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS-/AFP/Getty Images Images released by ABMU Health Board on March 12, 2014 show a portrait of British man Stephen Power (L) before having facial reconstruction surgery following a motorcycle accident and then after the surgery (R) that rebuilt his face using 3D printed parts. AFP PHOTO / ABMU HEALTH BOARD “

A 29-year-old Welsh man who broke his cheek bones, eye sockets, upper jaw and skull after a severe motorcycle accident now has a new face — one that was constructed using a 3D printer.

The BBC initially reported on the surgery late last year. The patient, Stephen Power of Cardiff, Wales, was only recently identified, however, and his surgery is being featured in an exhibition at the Science Museum in London, called “3D Printing: The Future.”

“I can’t remember the accident. I remember five minutes before and then waking up in the hospital a few months later,” Power told the BBC last week.

Power underwent emergency surgery after the 2012 accident, in which he was wearing a crash helmet. In addition to the trauma to his face, he also had two broken arms and a broken leg, which were managed by surgeons at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, Wales.

But doctors were unable to reconstruct the left side of his face, according to a statement from the National Health Service of Wales. So, his doctors decided to print a new face using 3D technology.

Doctors scanned 3D images of Power’s face to design precise bone replicas, printed them out of medical-grade titanium on a 3D printer and then inserted them during an 8-hour operation.

The first phase of the procedure was refracturing the cheekbones. The second was remodeling the face. Titanium was used to hold the bones in their new shape.

“It is totally life-changing,” he told the BBC. “I could see the difference straightaway the day I woke up from the surgery.”


Images released by ABMU Health Board on March 12, 2014 show 3D models of the face of British man Stephen Power used in the development and planning of his facial reconstruction surgery all created by 3D printing in a partnership between Morriston Hospitals Maxillofacial Unit and the National Centre for Product Design and Development Research (PDR) at Cardiff Metropolitan University. The images show guides for cutting and positioning and plates to hold the bones in place in plastic (top) and medical-grade titanium (bottom) all created using 3D printers. Stephen Power from Cardiff in Wales is thought to be one of the first trauma patients in the world to have a facial reconstruction procedure in which 3D printing was used at every stage. The 29-year-old suffered multiple trauma injuries in an accident in 2012. AFP PHOTO / ABMU HEALTH BOARD