The rapidly expanding world of 3D printing has left many confused as to its actual purpose and limits. A recent event shows one of the many uses of the field - the creation of fitted prosthetics.
Grecia, a toucan from Costa Rica that reached internet fame, had its upper beak removed by an unknown perpetrator last year. In the original news uproar, Grecia became a symbol for revolution and change to the animal protection laws of Costa Rica. Progress had already been made with a crackdown on hunting in the country, but other rules regarding punishment enforcing the restrictions are still debated. This led to Grecia being the mangled symbol of animal abuse and mistreatment from hunting. The story became of a global interest as animal rights activists combined to work for a solution.
Not only was Grecia a pivotal point for the animal rights revolution, but also a staggering milestone for the technological front of 3D printing. The field itself is in its relative infancy, but through this achievement receives even more attention demonstrating its phenomenal capabilities.
The wonderful series of events coming out of such a tragic story came from the continued hard work of many dedicated animal rescue care professionals as well as engineers. Through these combined efforts, Grecia’s beak went from what was described as a bloody stump to a nylon fitted and synthetic beak.
Grecia can be found proudly sporting the new beak at the animal rescue center ZooAve in Costa Rica.