The world’s first digital 3D printed prosthetic eye

In late 2021, a patient at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, made history by becoming the world’s first recipient of a digital 3D printed prosthetic eye. This cutting-edge technology is set to revolutionise the prosthetics industry by using eye scans.

Ocupeye’s CEO, Gordon Bott, explains “Until recently, the process of manufacturing prosthetic eyes had been broadly the same the world over. When someone loses an eye (whether because of an accident, or certain forms of cancer) an ocularist injects alginate into the socket to mould its shape. This can be uncomfortable, and is an invasive process for the patient. The prosthetic eyes themselves then have to be hand-made and hand-painted, which is a highly skilled and labour-intensive job”.

The alternative process that Ocupeye has developed (in partnership with Tomey and Fraunhofer) is a remarkably realistic prosthetic eye with enhanced details and depth in the pupil.

Steve Verze, a resident of Hackney in east London, was the pioneering individual to receive this groundbreaking prosthetic. Expressing his long-standing need for a prosthetic since his 20s, Steve shared his excitement about the new 3D-printed eye’s appearance and the continuous improvements expected in this technology.

Compared to the previous method that required a 2-hour mould procedure and a six-week waiting period, the new process significantly reduces the fitting time to just x minutes and completes the manufacturing within x weeks. This advancement not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of prosthetic eyes giving it a more natural and realistic appearance, but is also kinder for patient boosting their confidence and quality of life.