Beauty and the beak
This is the before and after shot of Beauty the Bald eagle, who was shot in the beak and received a pioneering 3D- printed prosthetic beak. Her top beak had been shot off by a poacher and she had been left to die. Raptor biologist Janie Veltkamp brought Beauty from Alaska to her raptor centre, Birds of Prey Northwest in Idaho in co- operation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. There Veltkamp and mechanical engineer Nate Calvin, veterinarians and dentists, spent hundreds of volunteer hours designing, making and testing a bionic beak that allowed Beauty to preen her feathers and eat and drink on her own. The success of the 3D beak has drawn interest from groups around the world including scientists, engineers and 3D printer users, says Veltkamp in a story that captures both the cruelty and compassion of mankind. Details, www.birdsofpreynorthwest.org
It’s not just Beauty benefitting from 3D technology. Buttercup and Phillip the ducks and Foghorn the rooster have all got new feet, courtesy of 3D printing. So did Felix the sheep and Derby the Husky. Robo Turtle got some highly customized prosthetic jaws, fellow turtles Augie and Stumpy got new feet and Cleopatra got a new shell. Grecia the hornbill got a new top to her beak, and Holly the horse got herself a new pair of high-fashion 3D printed titanium horse-shoes to alleviate her laminitis and the beautiful ginger tabby cat Cyrano L. Catte II got himself a new knee joint. Not to be outdone, TurboRoo the Chihuahua got himself some 3D printed wheels and now there’s no stopping him.