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  1. #1

    Exclamation 3D Ignorant Vet Needs Duck Bill Printed

    We recently rescued a baby duckling that had its top bill apparently pecked off by chickens. It has survived and is doing quite well. I?d like some help in trying to print a new top bill for it when it reaches maturity. While I?m fairly tech savvy, I am completely 3D illiterate and will need essentially 3D for dummies help(which I?ve read and was pretty useless). Anyway all and any help/ suggestions would be most appreciated.9278517E-2F12-4D3A-BFC4-9F3FA3D0F9CA.jpg

  2. #2
    Technologist TommyDee's Avatar
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    You'll begin with learning to scan the remaining bill and figuring out a proper attachment interface and adhesives. Then a matter of material choice. This may depend on the printing process you choose. For the one-off's you'll be working with, you might ask yourself if professionally printed prosthesis would serve the duck better than trying to make a hobby printer do a makeshift job of it. You can certainly get to a good prototype with a hobby printer, don't get me wrong, but in the end, a highly refined 3D scan and a very close fitting, thin member interface will be critical is adhesives are to be used. I want to say that an SLA printer would be ideal for fine details and a solid build but i am not sure of the material choices and which printers would come up with the best solution. I will give the Form 2 "Tough" kriptonite green material a nice choice for ductility (no pun intended there!) but I don't know how bio-safe it is in the end. Good curing is a -must- with all SLA prints if it has anything bio associated with it. Did I loose you completely

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    What you most likely need is sls nylon.
    It's got the same mix of rigidity and a little flexibility and give as a natural beak would.

    There are some fdm materials around that could be used.

    Your best bet is to see if you have a makerspace in your area.
    That will be full of anoracks (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Practical-3...gateway&sr=8-1) just dying to get involved with this kind of project. They'd probably pay you for the opportunity and bragging rights :-)

    Scanning the bottom bill or a bill from another duck - is going to be extremely tricky. Unless you have acces to an mri-scan, but then things start to get that expensive that you start looking up duck a'lorange recipes instead ;-)

    The basic duck bill shape should actually be pretty easy to model/design. As tommy says, the point and method of attachment is going to be the biggest issue.

    Something like taulmans nylon 645 or ninjatek's armadillo would probably be suitable materials for the beak itself. Depends on what sort of rigidity you need. A dual material print, could work too.

    The slightly rougher texture you get with fdm would probaly be more suitable for the inner side of the beak anyway, give a bit more grip.

    Should be fairly easy to measure the lower beak with some digital calipers and a fairly chilled duck. Though might make more sense to model it from the uppr beak of a normal duck. Resizing to fit your duck is very simple. But I'm guessing the top and bottom won't be identical.

    Where abouts in the world are you based ?
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 05-28-2019 at 09:58 AM.

  4. #4
    Thank you so much for the responses! I really appreciate it. I?m guessing a scan of similar sized adult is going to be the way to go. I think the biggest challenge will be to get the underside of the beak contoured correctly so that it?s tongue fits, etc. They even have tiny serrations on the outer edge that serve as ?teeth?; probably not as important. Luckily it?s in front of the nares(nose holes) cause that?s much more involved.
    I?m located in Elgin, Texas; which is just outside of Austin. Primarily do horses, but enjoy doing exotics and odd ball stuff like this. I guess most people would have just euthanized the little guy; but had to give him a chance.

  5. #5
    Technologist TommyDee's Avatar
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    Your next trick will be the modeling part. There is precious little software that will let you do a premium crafting of the bill at a reasonable investment. However, a limited time use license could help. The idea is that once you have scanned the bill as an adult (you want to match up exactly) and compared it to a similar adult for features as you so well noted, you need to "model" the replacement. Getting the hang of that type of software may take some learning up front. That gives the bird time to grow up and you time to get good at all these special requirements. However, you may become the only vet that can do this for other wild birds in need of help. I'd say this is a career enhancement opportunity.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    actually pretty much any modelling software will work.
    It's nothing to do with the software, it's the designer that matters :-)

    Also, don't forget that a 3d print is simply where you start.
    All 3d printed materials can be carved, sanded, drilled etc.
    So getting the initial print perfect isn't crucial.
    A rotary tool, sand paper, files - etc. Can be used for finishing.

    It's really not that hard or tricky a job. The crucial part is how you attach it to the duck.

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