Development of a new hornbill with a 3D printer (photos)

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Scientists were able to repair the beak of an infected hornbill in Thailand after breaking a piece of it, by using an alternative made from the 3D printer, where the adult bird, nicknamed “Coco”, was found lying on the ground with a broken wing, with the lower part of its beak lost In Kanchanaburi, western Thailand, on April 18th.

3D beak
3D beak

Installing a 3D printed beak
Installing a 3D printed beak

According to the Daily Mail, wildlife experts have not determined how Coco was hit, but they believe it may have been fired upon or attacked by hunters in the jungle.

Abu Qir bird
Hornbill

Although veterinarians were able to provide urgent care for the bird, they could not find the part of its missing beak in order to reconnect it, and it was impossible for Coco to eat without its long beak, so they resorted to clear his body and used 3D printing technology to create Plastic substitutes.

Infected hornbill

Infected hornbill

Experts tied these prosthetics to the remains of the bird’s lower beak with super-hard artificial glue, and the footage captured at the Rehabilitation Center on April 26 shows that Coco is now happily heading to pieces of fruit and seeds using her new beak.

“We used 3D printing technology to make an alternative to the bird’s beak, but the first model broke just after half an hour of use, so we made a second model to install it in place,” said Kanokuan Taroyonont, a veterinarian who treated Coco.

Wildlife workers now continue to monitor Cocos progress, as the new beak can spoil again due to how strong it is to eat its food.

The team is also looking to print another beak using various materials to ensure the bird gets the best industrial beak, but it will be difficult to tackle a coco wing injury which will make flying difficult for him.

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