Endangered Turtle Gets 3D-Printed Titanium Jaw

Endangered Turtle 3D-PrintedJean Marconi


Though many know about its existence, 3D printing is starting to put itself into use in real life subjects as this poor loggerhead turtle that was hurt critically in an accident with the fishing boat.  Its jaw was entirely destroyed and this essentially was the end of the turtles life, as it feels on snails are other hard shelled animals that make it crucial for it to have a working jaw. Using 3D printers, scientists at BTech Innovation were able to create a totally functioning titanium jaw that has been totally accepted by the turtle and has given it a new way of living.  After undergoing a pro-bono surgery provided by the creators of this jaw, the loggerhead turtle is recovering nicely and scientists are amazed at how easily it has accepted the new jaw.  Though there are some differences from the natural one, scientists have worked to make sure that this one is as natural as possible to create a comfortable, usable jaw for this one lucky turtle. Due to the human inventions, loggerhead turtles are not able to exist very well with human beings, getting trapped in their fishing equipment, or hurt by passing shipping boats, as this one has been.  This brave and exciting subject, having recovered nicely, is looking to be released back into the wild sometime this year.  Endangered by humans, this is an exciting step that may open more doors to helping this turtle survive the destruction caused by humans.  We can hope that this titanium jaw will help the turtle survive in the long run and allow it to procreate.

Endangered Turtle 3D-Printed

It’s thought the turtle’s jaws was shattered in a boat collision. Image: BTech Innovation

Endangered Turtle 3D-Printed

Weeks of scanning and planning eventually resulted in 3D models that allowed the team to create replicas of the turtle’s jaws. 

Endangered Turtle 3D-Printed

Endangered Turtle 3D-Printed

The patient is recovering well so far, and there’s hope it’ll be ready for release back into the wild later this year. Image: BTech Innovation

Endangered Turtle 3D-Printed

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