See how Formlabs 3D printers were used in a veterinary application to save the life of a great hornbill bird.
While caretakers at ZooTampa were performing a routine check-up on a 25-year-old great hornbill, they found a lesion at the base of the bird’s casque, the yellow helmet-like growth on top of the head. Further examination determined that the bird, named Crescent, was suffering from life-threatening cancer.
The great hornbill is one of the most endangered bird species on the planet, driven out of its habitat by forest-clearing and hunted for its casque. Found only in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, ZooTampa’s hornbill is one of its prized attractions.
The cancer, located near the bird's skull, couldn't be removed because it housed part of the bird's sinuses. The team wanted to know if they could remove the casque, and replace it with a 3D printed replica designed specifically for this bird. Patient-specific prosthetics and devices have been used before in human procedures, but never for a great hornbill. Would it be possible, and if so, which materials would be safe for the bird?
Find out more by reading the full user story here.