Wonderful Engineering

Here’s How 3D Printing Is Saving The Lives Of Hundreds Of Animals

3D printing has brought a paradigm shift in the world of manufacturing. Especially, the innovators no longer have to work their way through the cumbersome process of prototyping. However, the most significant application of 3D printing has been in the arena of prosthetics. Apart from humans, animals and birds have also benefited from the 3D printing technology as they are given a second chance to enjoy their life.

The use of 3D technology to help the wildlife truly showcases the extent to which the technology can be exploited to alleviate the suffering of living beings. Read on to know more about the doctors and researchers giving animals and birds a new life with 3D printed prostheses, splints, and other medical support.


3D printed Legs for Derby

Born with retarded front limbs, Derby was abandoned by its owners. Tara Anderson, the team lead for 3D Systems, found him and adopted the dog. Tara, aided by her skilled team, designed and 3D printed a customised set of prosthetic limbs for the dog. Today, the dog trots along 3 miles each day, all thanks to 3D printing technology. Follow the charming Derby as it goes out for its daily run in this video:

 3D Printed Prosthetic Beak for the Costa Rican Toucan

Designed with PLA material, the 3D printed beak for this Toucan put it out of its misery of being famished. The Toucan was a victim of negligent teenagers and was left with a maimed beak, rendering him unable to eat anything. The design of this 3D printed beak is not only lightweight but also sturdy. Watch this video and see how the injured toucan is nursed back to its health:


3D Printed Titanium Jaws for a Sea Turtle

A member of the endangered species of loggerhead sea turtles was left seriously injured after hitting a ship propeller. The result was horrifying and painful damage to the upper and lower right jaw of the sea turtle christened AKUT 3, for the Turkish agency that rescued him. Later, AKUT 3 was fitted with a realistic 3D printed version of his natural jaws whereby he could feed himself once again.


3D Printed Foot for the maimed Duck

Buttercup was born with a physical deformity whereby its left foot was turned backwards, making walking as well as swimming a painful ordeal for the poor duck. NovaCopy printed a customised foot for Buttercup that has helped him in leading a healthy life. Today, Buttercup is a Facebook celebrity and enjoys his swimming excursions.


3D Printed Architectural Wonders for the Hermit Crab Shelter

The idea is the brainchild of Aki Inomata, who combined her passion for architecture with her 3D printing skills and hit upon the idea of designing a wondrous shelter for nomadic Hermit Crabs. Modelled after the allure of Paris, the bustle of New York and culture of Tokyo, the crystalline shelters are stunning enough to make you wish for one yourself! Watch how it works in this video: