Surgery is the first to have used 3D parts at every stage.
Doctors have reconstructed the face of a motorbike crash survivor with the help of a 3D printer.
Stephen Power, from Cardiff, Wales, had 3D printed parts used throughout the surgery process as doctors rebuilt the 29-year-old’s face.
Doctors used techniques developed by the Surgical & Prosthetic Design team at PDR, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the MaxilloFacial Unit at Morriston Hospital.
The surgery involved CT scans to design and print a symmetrical 3D model of Power’s skull to restore the symmetry of his face, subsequently cutting guides and plates printed to match it appropriately.
Power hurt his cheek bones, top jaw, nose and fractured his skull in the accident.
Consultant maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar said: "We were able to do a pretty good job with all his facial injuries, with the exception of his left cheek and eye socket.
"We fixed his facial fractures pretty well but he had damaged his left eye and the ophthalmologists did not want us to do anything that might damage his sight further.
"That was a good move because his eyesight has mostly recovered. But as a result we did not get his left cheekbone in the right place and we did not even try to reconstruct the very thin bones around his eye socket.
"The result was that his cheekbone was too far out and his eye was sunk in and dropped."
The operation was carried out by the team at Centre for Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery (Cartis), a partnership between the team in Swansea and Cardiff Metropolitan University scientists.
PDR design & research engineer Sean Peel pressed the latest advance should promote greater use of 3D printing in the National Health Service (NHS).
"It tends to be used for individual really complicated cases as it stands, in quite a convoluted, long-winded design process," Peel added.
"The next victory will be to get this process and technique used more widely as the costs fall and as the design tools improve."