Doctor Song Hongxin at the Beijing Tongren Hospital is attempting to use 3D printing to create spectacles with a free-form surface, which is capable of accurately fitting to corneas of different shapes. The new lens is designed to solve the problems of keratoconus, an eye disorder resulting in blurred vision, nearsightedness and astigmatism.
Doctor Song Hongxin displays a pair of 3D printed glasses at the Beijing Tongren Hospital in Beijing on July 30. [Photo: Beijing News]
"Normal corneas have a smooth and convex surface, while their (keratoconus patients') corneas are bumpy with many irregular concaves," Doctor Song explained. Based on the blueprint of patients' corneas, 3D printed spectacles can completely match. Traditionally-made glassed usually can't be customized and will have high prices even if they can.
Doctor Song Hongxin checks a pair of 3D printed glasses at the Beijing Tongren Hospital in Beijing on July 30. [Photo: Beijing News]
Song said he got the inspiration from NASA's adaptive optical system.
3D printing technology has been applied in many other medical uses in China in recent years, such as 3D printed joints and teeth.