These days it’s not unusual for a cosmetic surgeon to use 3-D imaging software to show patients what they’ll look like after undergoing surgery. In the market for a new nose? Your doctor can take a 3-D scan of your face, throw it up on a screen, and let you virtually try on noses until you find the perfect fit.
New York-based plastic surgeon Carrie Stern is taking that technology a step forward. “During my training, I noticed that there was a lot of 3-D photography being taken prior to surgery and used for consultations,” Stern said in a phone interview. “I thought why not combine the simulations with 3-D printing?”
Enter MirrorMe3D, a new company that takes scans of people’s faces and prints 3-D models of them in varying sizes. With the new service, people considering plastic surgery will have a more realistic idea of how they will look post-surgery and can make a better informed decision of what they want. They’ll also have the chance to hold a 3-D replica of their head in their hands.
The printouts range in sizes and pricing–a miniature model will cost you $60, while a life-size replica goes for around $300–and the company has recently expanded the operation to account for people considering breast augmentation as well. Soon, MirrorMe3D will launch a portal on its site to allow people to upload a regular 2-D photograph of themselves, conduct a simulation at home, and order printouts that they can then bring with them to a medical consultation.
If getting a 3-D printed head in the mail feels a little too Se7en to you, you’re not alone. Stern says that some people have found the miniature replicas to be kind of creepy. But overwhelmingly, she says, people considering plastic surgery have found it fascinating and exciting. “We feel like this is really revolutionizing consultation by putting power in the hands of patients to show exactly what they want,” she says.