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British patient receives world's 1st 3D printed prosthetic eye

Moorfields Eye Hospital in London says one of its patients has been fitted with the world's first fully digital, 3D printed prosthetic eye.

The eye looks more realistic than traditional prosthetics and offers "clearer definition and real depth to the pupil," the hospital said. It usually takes about six weeks to develop a prosthetic eye, but the hospital said 3D printing could cut in half the turnaround time. Additionally, it's a less invasive process when dealing with 3D printing, as the patient only needs to have their eye socket scanned digitally in order to create a detailed image. 

The patient, 47-year-old engineer Steve Verze of London, was fitted with the prosthetic last Thursday. In a statement, Verze said he's "always felt self conscious" about needing a prosthetic, adding, "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." Moorfields Eye Hospital told CNN that a clinical trial with more patients will begin soon.