Fifth graders 3D print prosthetic leg for turtle

A team of fifth grade students in the US has 3D printed a custom-made prosthetic leg for a badly injured turtle.

Washington: A team of fifth grade students in the US has 3D printed a custom-made prosthetic leg for a badly injured turtle.

Stumpy the box turtle had been short of a limb since the amputation of his injured front leg.

Now, a group of fifth graders have put its school's 3D printer to use and produced a custom-made prosthetic leg for the turtle.

When Stumpy was brought to Oatland Island Wildlife Centre in Savannah, California in September, her badly injured and infected leg prompted veterinarian Leslely Mailler to swiftly amputate the limb, Gizmag reported.

After the treatment, Mailler contacted May Howard Elementary school where her daughter studied and had mentioned using a 3D printer in class.

Mailler collaborated with some of the school's science teachers and a group of fifth grade students, including her daughter, to design and produce the 3D printed prosthesis.

The team needed the new leg to be small enough to optimise mobility, yet large enough to keep the bottom of her shell from scraping along the ground.

Using a software programme 3DTin, the design was finalised and printed.

Attaching the prosthetic with a dollop of Gorilla glue and allowing some time to dry, the group then flipped Stumpy over and prepared to put her new limb to the test.

After a gentle prod from Mailler, Stumpy was on the move. Though the turtle found it difficult to gain traction on the tiled floor, it was able to make impressive progress on a towel.  

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