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Injured Bald Eagle Gets New 3-D Printed Beak 103

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the terrorist-your-game-is-through dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A bald eagle that lost its beak to a poacher's gun receives a 3-D printed beak prosthetic like a dental implant." More (with pictures): "Mr Calvin, a founder of the Boise-based Kinetic Engineering Group, made a mold of Beauty's shattered upper mandible, laser-scanned it, fine-tuned it in a 3D modeling program, and created a prosthetic beak from a nylon-based polymer."
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Injured Bald Eagle Gets New 3-D Printed Beak

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Will leach chemicals into the eagle that will cause health problems? Will it give fish a bad taste?

    • by Megane (129182) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:50AM (#41312451) Homepage
      I think not being able to eat is a bigger health problem than some hypothetical chemicals. In any case, fish will probably taste better than hand-feeding it with the flesh of Anonymous Cowards.
      • by Tarlus (1000874)

        In any case, fish will probably taste better than hand-feeding it with the flesh of Anonymous Cowards.

        But far less satisfying...

        • by dintech (998802)

          Did you watch the video embedded in the story? It's unbelievable how all the science was stripped out and replaced with awful bullshit attempts at heightening the emotional content of the story, to the point of hilarity. Shame on you, shitty news producers.

    • Are you implying that having no beak ISN'T a health problem? Sometimes you have to choose the lesser of two evils.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I have no beak and I am just fine!
        • by X0563511 (793323)

          You have teeth, lips, and hands. Birds don't.

        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          Aw, what a brave little soldier. But look, you don't have to suffer anymore. We've already demonstrated the capability. I'm going to start a collection and by God we're going to get you a beak!

    • 1 Most likely they used a plastic that will not degrade in UV (at least in the eagles lifetime)

      2 I would think no

      3 no more than any of the other 30,000 things in the environment will/ it might even IMPROVE the taste of the fish

    • Since this is slashdot and that means nobody reads the fucking articles, I'll answer it for you. They used a nylon based polymer. We use nylon polymers for clothing, wrapping meats, and sausage sheaths.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon
      Chinese manufactured nylon often contains DDM, which is dangerous if directly ingested. The articles don't detail the specific makeup of the polymers used, so even if they happened to not research this particular issue I'm sure as others have responded that the risk
      • by Talderas (1212466)

        I thought we use latex to wrap meat.

        Oh sorry. Wrong kind of meat.

      • by yurtinus (1590157)
        I'm curious as to the durability of the nylon beak compared with a natural beak. Now I doubt this bird will ever be released back into the wild (TFA seemed to indicate she's been in captivity for at least four years), so replacing the prosthetic isn't really an issue. Still, makes me curious how quickly it would wear out.
    • I doubt it. From what I can gather from the story the same material and glue that are used for dental work were used. I'm not getting any odd tastes from my crowns.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:37AM (#41312313)

    They really had an opportunity here. What would be cooler than a bald eagle with a shiny carbon-fiber-and-titanium beak? Maybe make him some razor sharp metal talons too. That would give the poachers pause!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Just think of the bond villain possibilities!!

    • They really had an opportunity here. What would be cooler than a bald eagle with a shiny carbon-fiber-and-titanium beak? Maybe make him some razor sharp metal talons too. That would give the poachers pause!

      This one was never to be one of metal-beak's tytos. His gizzard is better than that!

    • They should have added lasers.

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      And North Korea, Iran, and Muslims in general!

      I'm thinking we should update our 'national bird' to something more Terminator-like anyway.

      • by Talderas (1212466)

        I'm thinking we should update our 'national bird' to something more Terminator-like anyway.

        It'll be beak?

    • Tally Hawk? [youtube.com]
  • "I think I can help you with Beauty if you are interested." he said.

    Unfortunately, the prosthesis is not anchored securely enough to return Beauty to the wild, but she now can feed herself and preen her feathers.

    The new beak is not good enough for the eagle to be in the wild but beauty... At least it shows potential that there may be an improvement to match the original (nature) in the future. Either way, I hope that it will always be kept in good intention of use of 3D printer (such as this example in the article).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And since this story occurred in 2008, the bird has experienced some natural beak growth and the bionic beak has had to come off.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    really , really old news here.

  • Now... (Score:4, Funny)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:48AM (#41312427)

    Now just to give it a 3d-printed gun, so it can go get revenge on the poacher who shot it.

    • I was going to suggest hunting it down with a 3d printed gun. Which is funnier?
      • by gman003 (1693318)

        I prefer the one that ends with an animal version of Batman.

        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          animal version of Batman.

          In order to strike fear into the hearts of animal criminals, I take the form of their worst nightmares. I am... Humanbird!

    • Guns are pretty tricky to print. It might be easier just to order a 3d-printed HDTV from Amazon.

  • by Guano_Jim (157555) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:48AM (#41312433)

    I was recently asked by a client to 3D print some replacement parts for his pet duck.

    But he balked when I gave him the bill.

  • I first heard about this in 2009, when I went to the Solidworks 2010 launch event in Boise.

    Maybe because I am involved in the local Solidworks community, it is old news here. It was pretty fun event getting to meet the guys who did this, exam the various iterations of beaks

    I am actually surprised it took this long to make it to main stream news.

  • Is go on tor and use bitcoin to hire a hitman for the poacher.
    All jokes aside, its pretty damn cool.
  • They both want to make the new film "Beauty and the Beak."
    • by cellocgw (617879)

      +1 for actually knowing who Cocteau is. Now you know there's at least one other person on /. who knew (and has seen the movie) without resorting to wikipedia or imdb .

      Now -- does anyone else remember the double-features which changed daily at "Hark, Hark! The Clark!" theatre in Chicago?

  • by SoupGuru (723634) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @10:17AM (#41312781)

    I can't wait to read 5 new and exciting 3D printing stories each and every day!

  • FTFA:
    "Beauty continues to thrive under our care without her upper beak. The new growth pushed out the hardware which anchored the prosthetic beak."

  • And those 1 D beaks? The chicks just don't dig them.

  • by paintballer1087 (910920) <paintballer1087@gmai l . c om> on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @10:34AM (#41312955)

    I emailed Birds of Prey Northwest for an update on Beauty and received this reply yesterday from Ms Fink (Cantwell):

    Beauty continues to thrive under our care without her upper beak. The new growth pushed out the hardware which anchored the prosthetic beak. Recently the small amount of new growth has allowed Beauty to do something she has not been able to do since her injury-eat independently. We have constructed a special feeding platform for her and she now feeds herself! We are looking to the future as we measure her minute growth and construct a new plan of attachment. Construction of the beak is the easy part, it is the attachment that is the challenge. Recently, her 2008 procedure videoed by a Seattle news team, was made available on Vimeo and we have had lots of inquiries. Some have suggested that Beauty has a much greater educational impact WITHOUT her beak. When the prosthetic was in place, her story is lost at first glance. Time will tell whether she goes through life with or without a beak. In the meantime, she will remain in north Idaho under my care where she is cherished and well cared for.

    Old news, and completely out of date now. The 3D printed beak happened in 2008, and it will no longer work due to growth that pushed out the mounting brackets. Beauty does not have an upper beak now, though the growth is allowing her to eat without the prosthetic.

  • I consider this a very cool use of 3d printing... And love the idea that we can help an injured animal somewhat.

    But bird beaks count as one of the structural marvels of the world - They weigh nothing, last a lifetime, and have incredible strength. A printed plastic beak, even ignoring issues like how it fits, will break and fall off within a few months, leaving the poor thing to starve to death.

    So unfortunately, as well intentioned as it sounds, I have to consider this nothing short of cruel. Save the
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Try reading the article.
      The bird was never going back into the wild again. The 3d printed beak has come off due to natural growth of the beak and is no longer being used. The animal is not starving to death now that some beak has grown back.

      How about the next time you are injured we put you out of your misery?

      • by pla (258480)
        Try reading the article.

        What, and ruin a perfectly good Slashdot tradition? Meh.


        How about the next time you are injured we put you out of your misery?

        DNR / DNI, baby! Please do!
  • I seem to recall reading that printed components are only about 10-30% of the strength of components made by alternative techniques e,g, injection mo(u)lding.

    Would it not have been a good idea to create a mo(u)ld around this component and then create a much stronger beak?

  • FTA: "...some kind of metaphor about America. Ruined by guns, kept alive by nonprofits, technology comes to the rescue? Sure, I think it works."

    Riiiiiight. And you're THE editor of grist.org. Guns ruined America... You look at America, and chief amongst its problems are things that you think guns cause? Seriously? Well, welcome to my little corner of communist household!

    >squid.conf
    acl SmallMinded dstdomain .foxnews.com .grist.org
    http_access deny SmallMinded
  • I’ve seen so many bald eagles crying a single tear over terrorism or gay marriage or whatever that it’s really hard not to interpret this as some kind of metaphor about America. Ruined by guns, kept alive by nonprofits, technology comes to the rescue? Sure, I think it works.

    Now if we can only get a 3d printed deficit reduction...

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CEREC [wikipedia.org]

    I've got two of them myself.

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