Learn Awesome: Man Saves his Bird with Design

Sebastian Schild had a problem: His bird Jim was stressing out and everything Sebastian tried to do to help him just didn’t do the trick. Then an .stl and some ingenuity came to the rescue. Here is Sebastian describing his process:

“The names of our birds are Jim and Knopf, after characters in a German TV show for children. Our male bird, Jim, needs the collar because he started to pick out all of his feathers. It started about 2-3 years ago and in the meantime he had picked out nearly all feathers from his front, his legs and under his wings. That must be a psychological problem (perhaps with his “wife”) because the veterinarian did not find any other cause.

“At first we tried some home-made collars (you can find construction manuals in some bird forums) with insulation/coating rings, duct tape and plastics laminate. They mostly worked fine but our birds needed only about 1-2 weeks to shred these collars completely.

“Later (after printing some silver jewelry for my wife) I had the idea of 3D printing plastic collars for Jim. After some tries and improvements (the collar our bird is wearing on the picture is version #4) everything seems to work fine now. The 3D printed collars are much more robust and resistant than the self-made ones. I used Autodesk AutoCAD for creating the models and exported an STL-file directly from that software.

“It was very painful time for Jim – and also very hard for us not being able to help him in any way. But now that he is wearing the custom collar he cannot reach most of his feathers with his beak. He looks and feels much better now. It is impressive how many different materials you are able to print and process. Also the quality of the printed models / surfaces is very good. I am sure that I will make a few more 3D printed things in future – I only have to wait for the next funny or needful idea.

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