While humans are used to enjoying a nice boat ride, the aquatic life surrounding the boat ends up having to put up with all of the consequences that we inflict on the environment.
For one unlucky sea turtle, this meant having part of its face permanently mutilated by the propeller of a boat. As depressing as it sounds, this isn't the first case of a boat propeller harming aquatic life.
The turtle was found in an injured and nearly lifeless state and was quickly brought to Pamukkale University (PAU) where it was cared for and treated until a solution for fixing its shattered upper and lower jaws could be worked out. Fortunately, the sea turtle was found just in time and it won't be long before the sea turtle will be able to go back to enjoying its life out in the sea; best of all, it's all thanks to modern science.
A Turkish 3D printing company that goes by the name of BTech Innovation was able to print a brand new beak for the sea turtle using 3D printing technology. Careful scanning was performed to come up with a custom fit that would match the face of the sea turtle, and then the newly printed medical-grade titanium beak, paired with the expertise of some surgeons, was fastened to the mutilated jaw of the sea turtle.
The sea turtle, which is currently in the hands of certified rehabilitation experts, is being cared for until it is absolutely certain that the synthetic jaw will not cause any issues for the animal's bodily functions and ability to catch and eat its food.
If all goes well, the sea turtle will be released to the wild again where it will be able to use its new metallic jaw to catch its own food and survive on its own without human intervention.
The 3D printing industry is still an emerging technology, however its wide variety of potential usefulness is attracting the interest of firms all around the world. Helping wildlife and the medical industry are only just a couple of the many uses we may have for 3D printing in the future.
Source: Popular Science