Synthetic Anatomy (2013)

Synthetic Anatomy (2013)

Independent study expands own creative ideas.

Following the successful exploration of 3D scanning and printing, Julian was invited by Bernard Guy to explore multi-media 3D printing and its applications for prosthesis making. This project – intended to expand shared knowledge in synthetic anatomy from previous projects – researched how to improve accuracy, tactile qualities and speed of production of synthetic prosthesis not only for the reconstructive medical market, but also the creative market of movie making. Together with Simon Crane they examined how multi-media printers can create a range of material characteristics to recreate the feel and functions of human body parts, in their case the ear.

Augmentation: medical application

The project was not only focused on recreating an ear, but creating an augmentation that was of individual value to the wearer and would enhance their confidence through every day use. Thus detailed scanning of an individual’s ear was required. The complex structure of the ear – cartilage, skin and flesh- required different kind of scans (MRI, X-ray and 3D exterior) to be woven together for the closest possible representation of its original. The transition from computer & digital data to physical & real objects was possible with the multi-material printer Connex 500. Through extensive sample printing they discovered the range of Shore hardness values the printer could print in and which ones were appropriate for this particular project. The intent and depth of their research earned them a notable mention at the prestigious 2014 core77 design awards.

Materials and processes – close up


These projects used a range of programs: CAD, 3DS Max, Maya, Mudbox and Solidworks to combine and modify the various scan data sets.


Synthetic Anatomy: the scanner was a Kinect SDK 1.7 remote modified with the developer package Fusion and 2.0 strength lenses, enabling to capture in more detail. The printer for this project was exclusively a Connex 500 Multimaterial, as the range and quality of the rubber, plastic and digital materials was of relevance to the research.

Project level

Synthetic Anatomy: Under-graduate, course name: Independent Study: INDN 381, course coordinator: Bernard Guy, external expertise: Dr Wayne Gillingham.