Engineering Minute

Engineering Minute – Award Winning 3D Printed Nose

A student at Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand, is a finalist for the James Dyson Award for a 3D printed prosthetic nose he designed as part of his Master's project. The James Dyson Award is an international design award for engineering students as part of its mission to get your people excited about design engineering.


From the Victoria University of Wellington article "Zach Challies, under the supervision of Bernard Guy and Ross Stevens from Victoria’s School of Design, has created a shock-absorbing scaffold that sits under a traditional prosthetic nose. His printed prosthesis will be New Zealand’s entry in the international design award, which will be judged in the United Kingdom with the winner announced in November."



3d printed prosthetic noseWith the input of a maxillofacial surgeon and the prosthetic wearer, Zach was able to identify several issues with how current prosthesis adhere to a patient's face using as simple magnet connection. The magnets are not very strong so the prosthesis can easily be knocked free, making it difficult to play sports or other activities. His solution to this problem involves a 3D printed support fitted under a nose-shaped facade, which cost less than $50. He also created a cheap version of the mold, that could be printed in about two hours, and is easily and inexpensively replaceable if it was damaged during sports or strenuous activity.


“I wanted to investigate where we could start to help out through design. Utilizing a multi-material printer, we’re looking at different retention methods so it will be more secure on the face and provide a lot more security to the wearer,” said Zach. “Traditionally the prosthesis is there to replace the missing anatomy, whereas we’re focused on trying to enhance the wearer’s lifestyle through design. The goal is to create a prosthetic that’s desired by the wearer. It’s also about challenging preconceptions of what a facial prosthetic should be.”


Read more about the award winning 3D printed prosthetic nose at Victoria University of Wellington.