People.Com featured a story about a Zoo Knoxville turtle named Patches who is now wearing a custom 3-D printed mask made by the College of Veterinary Medicine. Last year, zookeepers discovered Patches had suffered a puncture hole to her right nostril. After trying various forms of treatment, zookeepers reached out to UT veterinarians Andrew Cushing and Kyle Snowdon for help.
The team suggested creating a tiny, lightweight 3-D printed protective resin mask. The mask covers the puncture hole and keeps her protected from further infection, but doesn’t interfere with eating and other daily turtle activities.
UT veterinarians have started using three-dimensional printing for various projects, including creating model animal bones on which to practice delicate surgery techniques.