A blog about scientific and medical visualization and all that’s involved.

Ear Prosthesis Part 1

Posted by Janet on January 29, 2008

ear-cast.jpgI’m taking a modeling class right now and our first project is a human ear prosthesis. It’s very exciting and I will be posting updates until it is done. This picture above shows the cast I made yesterday of a classmate’s ear. Later we’ll be sculpting the opposite ear and eventually making a prosthesis of that ear.

A lot of the materials we use are the same as those used for dental casting. We started by sealing an area outside the ear with boxing wax and stuffing some cotton down our partner’s ear canal. Very quickly we mixed and syringed alginate over the ear, covering everything. Since alginate remains soft and gel-like, some plaster was poured over the whole thing to help the mold hold its form. Once the mold was finished, I mixed some dental stone and poured it into the mold. While waiting for the stone to set, I got a cast of my own ear made by my partner.

Although the process sounds fairly straightforward, it was seven hours before I went home. Part of it was waiting time, and part of it was the time it took to clean up all the imperfections. But at the end of the day I got to take home this piece of ear to show everybody and that makes it all worthwhile.


One Response to “Ear Prosthesis Part 1”

  1. Cynthia said

    The first thing I thought when I saw that picture was “Wow Janet is really good at sculpting!” Until I read that it was a cast you made out of a real ear LOL But cool altogether! It looks like someone stuck their ear through a soft surface LOL

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