Injured tortoise gets a new face and second chance thanks to Denver 3D printing store

DENVER - A pet Greek tortoise is getting a new face and a second chance thanks to a 3D printing store in Denver.

Boris the Tortoise was attacked by a massive 90-pound tortoise who blinded him, took of his beak and a large chunk of his jaw.

"I thought it was it, I thought we'd be euthanizing him that day," said Amanda Hipps, Boris' owner.

Instead Boris, estimated to be about ten years old, proved he's a fighter -- surviving, healing, and getting back to his old self in a just a few months. He's still unable to chew, however, and that's where The 3D Printing Store got involved, creating a custom prosthetic that will allow Boris to eat solid food again.

"We finally got a fit, the perfect fit, and it fits him like a glove," Hipps said. 

The store worked with Broomfield Veterinary Hospital to reconstruct Boris' beak and upper jaw, and Art of Gold Custom Jewelers cast the final prosthetic, which is made of silver. Boris was fitted on Sunday and will now have surgery to attach it. Everyone involved volunteered their services.

Justine Finesilver, owner of The 3D Printing Store, said helping animals sets the stage for healing humans. He says his shop can already create human prosthetics.

"It's just a matter of getting FDA approval, getting them through the insurance process and the regulations," Finesilver said.

His store created prosthetic hands, and sent them to Haiti to help injured earthquake victims. The shop has now purchased a 3D bio-printer which, potentially, could create made-to-order human organs, though that process is likely still several years off.

"It's an idea that’s just mind blowing," he said. "It's hard to even conceive that. I would say right now we are dipping our toe into those waters, for sure."

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