A bird in China got a 3D-printed beak as a replacement for the original that had been damaged in a fight.
Lili, a red-crowned crane, broke her upper beak during a fight with another bird at a zoo in Guangzhou. After the injury, she was unable to feed herself.
Zookeepers arrived at the idea of using 3D printing to help Lili. The final product was made from titanium, Xinhua reported. The material was selected for its strength and anti-corrosive properties.
Lili’s operation was held on July 10. She was put under anesthesia to avoid inflicting her pain.
It took 30 minutes before Lili’s new beak was finally installed. She tried using it to catch fish, much to the delight of everyone around!
Previously, 3D printing was used to hand, hip joint and skull implants, Shanghaiist noted. Such medical applications proved the technology more useful than probably expected. Interestingly, it also gave birth to a mini food manufacturing plant, DIY dental braces and a life-size replica business.