With the help of 3D printing a toucan gets a prosthesis beak
Costa Rica - In a project helping a Brazilian toucan which lost the upper part of its beak while being trafficked has been fitted with a prosthesis made with additive manufacturing.
Hugo Alonso Rivera from the Tierpark Zoo Ave says: “The process was not easy. We have made analyzes and designed different designs over months. But ultimately, it was a success. ”
The bird had psychological effects while not having his full beak. Because without its magnificent beak gone he had no more success in females and unable to sound normal when communicating with other birds.
The prosthesis is made of nylon in a 3D printer. The material is light and very resistant. Except the toucan, so far in the US, an eagle and a penguin have received new beaks from 3D printing.
“The biggest challenge with the beak is finding the right adhesive,” says Rivera. “We had to make sure that it lasts a long time and that the beak stump did not get damaged.” After a series of experiments, the researchers found the best mix.
Rivera was very satisfied with the result, he says: “We have already found that the bird is back in a better mood and can eat with his beak. That was our main goal. ”