AMS Spring 2023

3D Printed Beak to Save a Polish Penguin’s Life

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A Penguin at the Warsaw Zoo in Poland, was doomed to a slow death, after a fall or fight it had about a month ago. The penguin which was not given a name like the other furry creatures we have discussed on this site, broke penguin-feathis beak, leaving him unable to preen or feed himself. With the help of new 3D printing and scanning technologies, scientists hope to save this penguins life.

The scientists plan to scan a beak from a recently deceased penguin, using the 3D information obtained to print out a prothetic beak with high-tech eco-plastic.  An Omni 3D Printer will be the machine used to create the final prosthetic. The beak in which they will model the printed version from has begun to decompose, thus making this task a little more tricky than scientists had hoped. The team of scientists led by Bartek Jarkiewicz, of MTT Polska, plan to begin printing out several beaks next week, in case the first one falls off or doesn’t fit perfectly.

‘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 stated, “Then they said they had a penguin with a problem and asked if we could come up with a new beak.”

We will keep our readers posted on the outcome of this project, and will be discussing this 3D printed prosthetic beak at 3DPrintBoard.  If the scientists are successful, this would be the second known case of scientists saving the life of a bird by 3D printing a prosthetic beak. Back in 2012, a bald eagle in the United States was the first known bird to receive such a prosthetic device.

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