We had the technology, and we rebuilt him.
This sea turtle was found clinging to life by Turkish animal rescue volunteers, its beak torn to shreds by a boat propeller. But thanks to a 3d-printing company called BTech Innovation, the sea turtle will soon be let back into its natural habitat with a big upgrade: a new beak forged out of medical-grade titanium, according to the website 3D Printing Industry.
The turtle was found and then nursed back to health by volunteers at the Dalyan Iztuzu Pamukkale University Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. But the poor guy never would have made it in the wild because the injury was so severe the turtle had to be hand-fed, 3D Printing Industry reported Thursday.
Luckily, the CEO of BTech Innovation, which prints medical implants, was willing to craft the turtle's bad-ass beak for free. The company used CT scan data to model the beak and printed it in titanium, Engadget reports.
While our favorite robo-turtle is making a full recovery, it seems turtles everywhere can rest easy knowing they've got 3-D printing on their side. In March, the world fell in love with Cleopatra the tortoise, whose deformed shell left her susceptible to infection. A Colorado Technical University student spent hundreds of hours designing and printing a new shell for Cleopatra, and there was much rejoicing.
Now, if only the technology could be applied to help other awesome beaked animals like bald eagles -- oh wait, it already has.