A TEACHING AID FOR HEAD & NECK ANATOMY

AUDIENCE  Head & Neck Anatomy students
FORMAT  Physical sculpture / 3D model
MEDIA  Modelling wax and oil paint / 3D Scanning / ZBrush / Sketchfab

This life-size wax sculpture is designed as a teaching aid for head and neck anatomy instruction. It shows the configuration of the facial musculature during crying and includes additional structures such as the nasolacrimal duct, the lacrimal and parotid glands and the facial nerve.

As an alternative to the physical object, a scanned 3D model of the sculpture is available online. It can be accessed remotely for digital integration into teaching modules, or downloaded and 3D printed.

WHY THE ANATOMY OF CRYING?

The sculpture is primarily a study in facial expression. As crying calls upon a wide range of anatomical structures, it isideally suited for demonstration purposes. The emotion invokes all of the facial muscles, creates strong expression lines, and provides the opportunity to study some of the facial glands such as the lacrimal gland, as well as bony structures such as the nasolacrimal duct.

 

INTERACTIVE CONTENT

3D MODEL

Click on the PLAY icon to orbit about the scanned 3D model of the sculpture. The facial muscles are labelled, however, annotations can be turned off in the settings menu at the bottom right.
Click here to open the sketchfab page in a new window. 

TEAR DRAINAGE THROUGH THE NASOLACRIMAL DUCT

Play the video to see a demonstration of tears streaming through the nasolacrimal duct. The duct connects the lacrimal sac to the nasal cavity.


THE PROCESS

MATERIALS

Here are some of the sculpting tools and materials I used to put this piece together. The wax comes from British Wax.

STUDIES

I first made a miniature wax head to quickly sketch out the main features of this facial expression, such as the 'brow of grief', the deepened nasolabial fold, and the tightness in the lower face.
The facial anatomy was carefully researched through hands-on dissection of Thiel cadavers and reference to multiple anatomy textbooks.

 

MODELLING

Onto the real thing!

The red wax was quickly discarded as one of its pigments bled into the white wax, staining it a blueish hue. Thinned oil paint was used instead for colouring.

The final sculpture was scanned with a handheld Artec EVA object scanner, which picks up shape and texture. The data was converted to a digital 3D model and made compatible for upload to the Sketchfab platform.

 

IN SHORT

The video below further sums up the making of process.

 

EPILOGUE

Our guy made a surprise appearance as the poster child for the CAHID careers conference in Dundee!