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3D Printing Battles Animal Extinction

May 9, 2016
International Fund for Animal Welfare

3D printing enthusiasts are using additive manufacturing to combat animal extinction on multiple fronts.  One Italian-based artist, Andrea Pacciani, is creating exotic ivory-alternative objects that she hopes will entice patrons toward her “sustainable, animal-friendly pieces.”  Not only do the items look and feel like ivory, because they are 3D printed, Pacciani is able to create designs that cannot easily be produced with traditional carving methods.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has also adopted the technology to create a graphic reminder that we won’t be able to just 3D print more animal species if they are driven to extinction.  Its ad campaign, produced by Young and Rubicam, shows partially printed, like-like reproductions of an elephant, orangutan, and whale to communicate its dire message.

Other nonprofit firms, such as Paso Pacifico have used 3D printing creatively to advance their causes.  Paso Pacifico chose

“to create 3D printed decoy sea turtle eggs to track and take down poaching rings, and scientists at the International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICBP) have 3D printed vulture eggs embedded with micro-sensors to learn vital information about vulture nesting habits.

These initiatives show the commitment and ingenuity dedicated to saving at-risk species and the potential and versatility of 3D printing.

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