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myReflection 3D Prints Comfortable Prosthetics for Breast Cancer Patients

Picture of Hanna Watkin
by Hanna Watkin
Apr 30, 2019
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myReflection is a company set up by a couple in New Zealand which uses 3D printing to create comfortable prosthetic breasts for women who have had a mastectomy. 

Fay Cobbett and Tim Carr are the Kiwi couple behind myReflection, a business set up to provide women who have had a mastectomy with comfortable, 3D printed prosthetic breasts.

Cobbett knows only too well how uncomfortable prosthetic breasts can be. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and decided to get rid of the “nasty beast” via a mastectomy. Although she looked into breast reconstruction, the process was too complex and she decided instead to opt for wearing prosthetics instead.

However, Cobbett explains: “You don’t get a lot of choice – they come in different cup sizes but are a generic shape. So they don’t necessarily match the shape of your other breast… And there were other issues. Because it sits in your bra, if you lean forward, it falls away from your chest wall and you are worried all the time that someone will notice…”

Rather than continuing to endure the irritation of off-the-shelf prosthetics, Cobbett and Carr decided to take action and create something custom using a 3D printer.

Developing a Comfortable Prosthetic Breast

Cobbett and Carr knew where to start their search for a more comfortable prosthetic as they also run MindKits, an electronics, robotics, and 3D printing company. Carr and colleague Jason Barnett quickly developed a working prosthetic prototype.

“The first prototype they made was blue and I said, ‘Are you trying to turn me into a Smurf? But as soon as I put it into my bra, even though it was the wrong size for me, it was so much more comfortable,” explains Cobbett.

Carr and Barnett didn’t stop there and continued to develop prosthetics until the found the perfect design. This involved 3D scanning Corbett’s chest to ensure the 3D print would fit with every inch of her skin. She explains that the resulting 3D print molds perfectly to her body and enables her to jump around without it moving.

After much research and many prototypes, the team finally ended up with a prosthetic which is lightweight, flexible, hard-wearing on the outside, breathable and skin safe.

myReflection was launched in February and Carr explains that the result has been “amazing”. The price of a 3D printed prosthetic is NZ$613 (US-$408). However, 3D scanning is only available in Auckland right now.

A scan takes place either at a client’s home or in selected stores. The scans are then used to create a customized 3D model and print. Furthermore, Cobbett and Carr plan to establish a “breast library” for anyone who has a double mastectomy to give women a selection to choose from. Visit the myReflection website to find out more.

Source: Now To Love

myReflection
Fay Cobbett – the inspiration for developing a comfortable 3D printed prosthetic (Source: Now to Love)

License: The text of "myReflection 3D Prints Comfortable Prosthetics for Breast Cancer Patients" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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