Technological advances are wondrous and inspiring, but when they are used to help those less fortunate there is a special feeling that help elicits. Hope. And who better to give aid to than for those who can’t even ask?
Here are just a few instances where 3D printing, and the human heart, have made a difference in someone’s life.
Beauty is an adult female bald eagle who was shot by poachers in 2005. Her beak was destroyed and although she survived it would not have been for long. She could no longer fend off predators or eat food on her own
Beauty was saved in 2008 by Nate Calvin, a mechanical engineer with knowledge of 3D printing technology. He made her a 3D printed prosthetic that was fitted onto the remaining beak using a titanium metal mount. Beauty went from needing assistance for basic survival needs to being able to eat and drink on her own again. And, since 3D printing allows for quick and flexible redesign, her prosthetic beak was easily modified to suit her better as she adjusted to it over the years.
Yogo’s 3D printed leg is the first example of successful 3D printed pet prosthesis in China as of July 2015. Yogo was born with an atrophied leg, and his owner tried to find help but there was nothing available. At least, until she found Yogo’s owner contacted an charity whose goal is helping disabled pets walk again and Yogo’s case was accepted.
The process of fitting a prosthetic leg for him started with a Shining 3D technician taking a 3D scan of Yogo’s legs. Based on the scan, a CAD modeling designer was designed a personalized prosthesis to accommodate Yogo’s leg atrophy. To make sure it fit perfectly, he designers made four different models to be tried and tested. After many adjustments and modifications Yogo was fit with his new, personalized 3D printed leg.