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Injured Loggerhead Sea Turtle Gets A New Life With 3D Printing Technology

The possibilities using 3D technology seems endless. Life saving applications using this amazing technology can be witnessed almost every day. An injured loggerhead sea turtle has been equipped with a 3-D printed prosthetic jaw at a rehabilitation center in Turkey.

A search and rescue team named Akut-3 found him struck by a boat’s propeller and its jaw was nearly destroyed. It was seriously injured and it could have been fatal. Dekamer Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center took the responsibility of nursing the turtle back to health.

BTech Innovation, a Turkish R&D Group worked towards building the 3-D printed prosthetic jaw. It was an exciting challenge for the company as it had not worked on anything like this before. The company had only worked on 3-D medical implants. The team at BTech took the CT scans of the turtle’s skull and printed a custom-fitted jaw and beak out of titanium. It was successfully attached in surgery.

The turtle was named after the rescue team as Akut-3. Akut-3 still needs a good deal of recovery before it can be let out to the wild. But this life saving application of 3D printing brought Akut-3 from the clutches of death. Though this technology is still in the experimental phase, 3-D printing techniques may soon be used more widely in veterinary care. 

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