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Turtle With a 3D-Printed Titanium Jaw

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Technology is amazing. A Turkish company, BTech Innovations, managed to provide an injured sea turtle with a much-needed jaw implant. 

The poor sea turtle was almost lifeless when a rescue team found it floating in the sea. The rescue team took the turtle to Dalyan Iztuzu Pamukkale University (PAU) in Denizli, Turkey, where they managed to stabilize its condition and tend to its injuries. 

Initially, the staff nursed it back to health by feeding it by hand but realized yet they had to find another solution if the turtle was going to survive and fend for itself.

Fortunately for the turtle, BTech Innovation, Turkey’s largest company that serves many sectors, including the defense industry, aviation, medical, weapon industry, education, and automotive, teamed up with PAU to produce a 3D custom beak.

The process consisted of CT scans of the turtle’s head to design a replica prosthetic of its upper and lower jaws in 3D. The design was printed in medical-grade titanium and successfully implanted into the turtle by a surgical team.

The sea turtle was severely wounded in a collision with a boat propellor, but thanks to the creative medical team, the turtle, which weighs roughly 45kgs has a new jaw.

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BTech stated the prosthesis jaw they made for the turtle was neither the best nor the most technical work, but it certainly is the most famous. Their specialty is mostly complex surgical cases, including tumor surgery, gunshot wounds, traffic accidents, and suicide. 

Tailor-made prostheses, which they offer with a completely personalized approach, solves many cases that do not have a solution and significantly increase the success of complicated surgeries with other solutions. 

They include 3D printed medical models, personalized surgical guides, and computerized planning methods. The prosthesis they made for the tortoise is a different version of the prostheses they make for humans. It was produced with a 3D printer from a medical-grade Titanium alloy, the most biocompatible material.

The term ‘3D printing’ can be applied to various methods in which material is joined or compressed under computer control to create a three-dimensional object. It is the construction of a three-dimensional model being added together layer by layer of material in succession.

The chief advantages of 3D printing are Speed, Flexibility, and Cost benefits. For small production runs, prototyping, small business, and educational use, 3D printing is vastly superior to other industrial methods.

All images used are with permission from BTech. For more info, visit BTech website.

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