Data + Design Project

3D Printing to the Rescue: Bald Eagle Gets A New Beak

Tuesday 09.18.2012 , Posted by
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3D printing is being used for some seriously innovative and unusual purposes these days, testing the abilities of the technology in the real world. Here we bring you the tragic but ultimately uplifting story of Beauty, a Bald Eagle who was found in an Alaskan dump with her beak shot almost completely off. Eagles use their beak for many purposes, not the least of which is preening their feathers to stay clean, feeding themselves and drinking. Without the vital point to her beak, Beauty would quickly starve, and that is what appeared would happen until Jane Fink Cantwell of Birds of Prey Northwest entered the picture.

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Using 3D modeling and printing to create the hollow form needed, Cantwell enlisted the help of Nate Calvin of Kinetic Engineering Group to create a new beak for Beauty. The new prosthetic was modeled using Solidworks after x-ray images were used to get an exact fit of Beauty’s injured face. While this first attempt is not secure enough to release her back into the wild, it has given her the ability to care for herself, preening, eating and drinking again as before her tragic shooting. Check out the touching, if somewhat cheesy video at the bottom of this post for more.

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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Comments

  1. omg ! This is amazing ! So happy that this eagle was saved from sad destiny :o I love all animals so I can`t live calm knowing what is really happening in a world :o This is great article, I am every time on that side that should be more articles like this and to be more blessed people who create better life for these creatures ! I know lot of perfect eagle models .. maybe their parts somehow will help too :o Thanks God for 3D printing technology and for smart people who knows how to use it …

  2. http://www.visualnews.com/2012/09/18/3d-printing-to-the-rescue-bald-eagle-gets-new-beak/
    …Cheesy? The use of dramatic music and storytelling style in reporting doesn’t make it cheesy…

    Very moving story. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Technology being used for good. awesome.

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