There are different methods to fabricate a facial prosthesis; the most common is the craftsmanship technique, which depends on the time, experience and skill of the surgeon. Although effective, it is an expensive method in terms of time and cost, and the precision of the prosthesis is limited to the manual sculpting skill of the surgeon. However, modern design and manufacturing technologies in engineering are increasingly being used in biomedical engineering applications such as prosthesis and implant design, surgical planning and tissue engineering. These modern engineering technologies have led to the enhancement of traditional medical methods in terms of accuracy, time, cost, resources and safety.
In order to enhance the conventional craftsmanship technique used in the fabrication of facial prosthesis, this paper presents a new approach to design and manufacture customized ear prosthesis based on Reverse Engineering (RE) and Rapid Prototyping (RP) technologies. A case study is introduced and developed along paper. The ear prosthesis is designed using RE and Computer Aided Design (CAD). Fabrication of the prosthesis is carried out by RP and lost-wax casting. The results are presented and compared with the traditional craftsmanship technique. Advantages and disadvantages of using modern design and manufacture engineering techniques are identified and discussed.