Injured sea turtle gets new lease on life thanks to 3-D printing

Birch Aquarium

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (WFLA) – Four years ago, a loggerhead sea turtle was found clinging to life after trauma she experienced at sea.

But recently, thanks to 3-D printing technology, that turtle is getting a new lease on life.

When the reptile was rescued, she was partially paralyzed and had a gap in her shell along with abnormal spine curvature.

The gap became even more problematic as the turtle grew.

So, aquarium staff and experts at UC San Diego’s Digital Media Lab and Thornton Hospital joined forces and came up with a solution.

Using 3-D printers, they built the turtle a brace made of rigid plastic that perfectly filled the gap.

Officials say it’s working well for now, but the turtle will likely need to be fitted for a larger brace as she ages. She could grow to be 250 pounds.

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