Mar.21, 2014

A hapless penguin in Warsaw zoo lost its lower beak in a fight or fall a month ago. Without it, it couldn't feed itself, and it has also problems with drinking water. The penguin's chances of survival were slim. But now, it is offered a second chance at life in the form of a 3D printed beak.

Polish scientists are hoping to use the Omni3D printer to create a prosthetic beak, which was modeled from scanning a dead penguin's beak, from 12 different angles, in order to find out the shape and dimensions needed.

"We had gone to the zoo to see if they could use any of our 3D technology, and didn't know anything about the bird at first," Bartek Jarkiewicz, from the firm MTT Polska and the man in charge of the beak project, told The Telegraph. "Then they said they had a penguin with a problem and asked if we could come up with a new beak."

They then plan to 3D print a new beak, made out of a high-tech eco-plastic, next week. They are also prepared to print several versions of beaks in case the first one falls off or the plastic material proves unsuitable. They will then use nylon and silicone to create new beaks for the penguin.

But the process will not be very easy. " It would be very difficult to immobilize a live penguin," said Jarkiewicz. In addition the deteriorating state of the remnants of the penguin's beak could make the task of fitting a prosthetic beak harder.

This is the second time that 3D printing has been used to construct a bird's beak. In 2012, a team of researchers, engineers and dentists created the world's first prosthetic beak for Beauty the bald eagle. Beauty lost most of her beak after being shot in the face by a poacher years ago. Her beak was modeled with CAD software and 3D-printed from nylon polymers. After the operation, Beauty used her new beak to drink water and clean herself in the next day.

Beauty gets a second chance for her life with help of 3D printing technology, and this time, Polish scientists are hoping 3D printing could again save the penguin and restore the penguin to its former health.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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alvaro wrote at 3/22/2014 4:30:01 PM:

3D Printers are the solution to better dental implants!

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