A man will today become the first person to have a pioneering 3D printed prosthetic eye fitted.
Steve Varze, from Hackney, east London, is due to receive the eye at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.
He says it will be 'more realistic' than a traditional acrylic prosthetic eye – and believes it is an exciting moment for those who struggle with their sight.
Earlier this year it was claimed that half of the world's population will suffer from poor eyesight inside 20 years.
Currently, patients undergo a two-hour session to mould their eye socket. But the procedure will cut the time it takes to be fitted with their prosthetics in half, experts say.
Experts are excited and says it's a big boost to those with sight issues
“I’ve needed a prosthetic since I was 20, and I’ve always felt self-conscious about it,” he said.
“When I leave my home I often take a second glance in the mirror, and I’ve not liked what I’ve seen.
“This new eye looks fantastic and, being based on 3D digital printing technology, it’s only going to be better and better.”
Professor Mandeep Sagoo told the BBC that this is a big step forward.
The consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, said the staff were “excited” ahead of the operation on Thursday.
The potential of a fully digital prosthetic eye could be a game changer for those struggling with their vision.
"We hope the forthcoming clinical trial will provide us with robust evidence about the value of this new technology, showing what a difference it makes for patients," he said.
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"It clearly has the potential to reduce waiting lists."
Until now, prosthetic eyes are moulded in acrylic and painted by hand to match the patient's eye colour.
This process is known to be time-consuming and expensive, whereas producing the eyes using a 3D printer could enable experts to 150 eyes to be made in an hour.
All of the components are printed from powder in full colour using a Z-Corp 510 machine before the resulting form is encased in resin.