3D Printed Jaw Constructed for Turtle to Return to the Sea
A turtle who had been injured by a titanium boat propellor out at sea has been rescued and equipped with a new 3D printed jaw while convalescing at the Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation centre at Pamukkale University in Denizli, Turkey. The 45kg (99lb) creature’s carers decided that a 3D printed jaw would be the best solution to allow the injured animal fend for itself again once back in the ocean so they contacted BTech Innovation, a Turkish prosthetics manufacturer to see if they could create a jaw replacement for the turtle’s beak.
BTech recreated the reptile’s upper and lower jaws using design software, and then printed out the result using medical-grade titanium. The 3D printed jaw was surgically attached to the turtle, who is still recovering under surveillance to ensure that it accepts its new prosthetic.
It is sad that this happened to the turtle (now named Akut-3) in the first place but it is amazing what technological innovation can do and we hope that Akut-3 can return to the sea stronger than ever one day soon.
The video below shows the jaw in action: