In the footsteps of our story two weeks ago about the little girl with a rare genetic disorder who received “magic arms” through 3-D printing, we came across a story about 3-D printing helping out our feathered friends. Literally feathered.
Beauty, an Alaskan bald eagle, took a hunter’s shot to the face a few years ago, shattering her beak. Idaho raptor specialist Jane Cantwell took Beauty under her wing (sorry!) and helped nurse the wounded eagle, which could neither preen nor feed herself due to the damage to her beak. Cantwell teamed with mechanical engineer Nate Calvin of Kinetic Engineering Group to work on a “bionic beak,” a 3-D modeled and printed polymer prosthesis.
The team spent 18 months developing the beak before a touch-and-go two hour operation to center and attach it. You can see the results in the video below. (via Make)