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3D printed parts save reptiles

posted 23 May 2015 at 18:49:12

A 3D printed shell has been fitted to a leopard tortoise with a damaged shell in Denver, Colorado. The bright red appendage gives teenager Cleopatra a better chance to live a long and happy life at her home, the Canyon Critters animal rescue centre. Her own shell had deep ridges due to a poor diet, and was becoming thin and soft in parts. This made it dangerous to socialise with her fellow tortoises, who like a bit of rough play. The 3D printed shell will protect her own shell from further damage while it repairs itself. 
And Cleopatra isn’t the only reptile to have benefitted from 3D printing recently – in Denizli, Turkey, a titanium 3D printed beak has recently been fitted to a loggerhead sea turtle injured by a collision with a boat’s propeller.  

 Image: © Gary Stefanski/Splash/Splash News/Corbis