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A 3D Printed Beak Saves This Toucan's Life

A 3D Printed Beak Saves This Toucan's Life

Are you ready to learn more about the latest news in 3D printing? If so, we have some exciting information. Animal lovers will find this fascinating, as well as those that are interested in 3D printing, in general!

This time, the news comes from Brazil. Just last month, they were able to do something we have yet to do here in the U.S.

Brazil uses 3D printing more than any other country in the world. They mainly use the technology for medical purposes and have lately been branching out from human medical needs to those of animals, as well. Just last month the country invested in a venture that had techs creating a replica of a toucan’s beak. Using photogrammetry, they replicated the beak and then turned it into a 3D model. Once that was done, they were able to print the beak using PLA plastic and an FDM/FFF-based printer.

Birds don’t often survive in the wild without a beak. They’re not able to find or eat food without a properly functioning one. Oftentimes, long-beaked birds of the wild run into windows and cars, hurting only their beaks.

3ders.org states that “Traditionally, doctors have used the sterilized beaks of deceased toucans as a prosthesis for living toucans with injured or broken beaks.  However, due to the many different sizes and shapes of beaks, many of the prostheses made from the beaks of deceased toucans often break or otherwise don’t work as well as intended.  Thankfully, the ability to scan, 3D model, and ultimately 3D print a prosthetic device using today’s 3D printing technologies has helped these doctors create custom-tailored solutions for these injured toucans.”

3D printing has been gradually making its way into the medical field for some time now, but it’s just now getting to be widely known and accepted. It’s exciting to hear that these medical advancements are also helping save the lives of animals, as well!

There’s also a report of a different bird receiving a prosthetic beak at the beginning of last month. In May, the white pelican was in captivity at a zoo. It’s suspected he broke his beak during a fight with another male bird. With a beak that didn’t function, zoologists feared the bird would die. A month ago, surgery was done and the bird is doing great with his 3D-printed beak!

Are you interested in learning more about 3D printing? If so, continue to check back with us periodically. We will keep you up-to-date with the latest news.

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