It really is remarkable what 3D printing has been able to do for a variety of animals over the last year or two. We’ve covered so many tremendous stories about a wide array of animals, all of which are living more fulfilling, healthier lives thanks to the tremendous technology. One company which has been sort of a middleman in putting animal owners in connection with those who can help, while also providing help themselves, is The 3D Printing Store. The store, which has locations in Denver, Salt Lake City, Des Moines and Houston, has played an integral part in helping a tortoise named Cleopatra get fitted with a 3D printed shell, as well as internet sensation, Turbo Roo, the baby Chihuahua, receive a 3D printed cart.
In what may be one of the more extraordinary stories I’ve seen in some time, we’ve just learned that the 3D Printing Store was involved in yet another animal miracle in which 3D printing played an integral part. This time the animal was a three pound tortoise named Boris.
“Amanda, Boris’ owner came to us in the end of June, Justin Finesilver, Director of Operations/Marketing at The 3D Printing Store told 3DPrint.com. “She explained that Boris had just recently healed from an attack that he suffered at the beak of a 90 LB tortoise in the middle of May. Boris is only 3 LBS so you can get an idea of the size difference. The attack took place the day before Amanda’s wedding. She left right after on a two week honeymoon and didn’t expect to return to find Boris still alive.”
The attack was a brutal one which left Boris without the top portion of his jaw (the beak) as well as eyes, but unbelievably the little tortoise lived through the ordeal, thanks in major part to a local vet in Florida who was able to nurse him back to health. Upon Amanda’s return, she brought Boris to the Broomfield Veterinary Clinic where she works as a Vet Tech with Dr. Bill Guerrera. Both Amanda and Dr. Guerrero were familiar with the work done by The 3D Printing Store in the past and contacted the store asking if they had any ideas on how to possibly help Boris overcome this terrible ordeal. This is when the project to 3D print Boris a prosthetic upper jaw/beak commenced.
“We saw Boris the first time, with literally all of his top beak and eyes missing, and we decided we would do whatever we could to help,” Finesilver explained to us. “We designed 20 versions of the piece over the last month and a half. We printed the parts on our B9 Creator because we needed high resolution prints and we knew that we would most likely have to cast in another material.”
In total, Amanda had to bring Boris into the Denver store 10 different times and there was a total of 20 different iterations of the prosthetic created, using SolidWorks, before they got it just right. The team at The 3D Printing Store then used a B9 Creator, which is a desktop SLA 3D printer, to fabricate the portion of the beak before eventually sending it off to Art of Gold Jewelers in Denver to cast the part for Boris, out of silver.
They decided to cast the prosthetic, as it would hold up much better than the cured resin that they had printed it with initially. Just this last weekend, Boris was fitted with the prosthetic beak, and is now doing incredibly well, considering the circumstances.
“The eyes won’t return, he still has partial functionality in one of them but for the most part he will be blind. I can tell you he is still very much alive and pretty amazing to see,” Finesilver told us.
It’s amazing companies like The 3D Printing Store, who recently expanded to their third and fourth locations back in June, who are not only helping to make the world a better place for a handful of unfortunate animals, but are also putting the technology into the hands of other remarkable individuals capable of doing extraordinary things. If you are ever in the Denver, Salt Lake City, Des Moines, or Houston areas, I highly recommend you check them out; if not to buy something, then to simply stop in and check out the technology yourself.