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MHRA no: 884

Prosthetic African Hornbill Beak

African Hornbill, diseased beak prior to excision
The patient before removal of damaged tissue
Completed prosthetic beak prior to heat treatment
Cast sections welded together, prior to heat treatment
Prosthetic African Hornbill beak sections before welding
The castings before trimming
African Hornbill after fitting of prosthetic beak
The completed prosthetic after fitting

In the summer of 2004, we were asked to produce a prosthetic beak for one of London Zoo's African Hornbills. The bird's upper bill had been fractured in an accident, and the zoo required a durable and realistic replacement.

The beak was cast in cobalt chromium alloy, which was heat treated so as to blend in more closely with the bird's natural colouring. This presented us with the greatest problem due to its size (50cm) and weight (46g), but by casting in two sections and welding them together we produced the result illustrated in these photos.

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Daimler Engine Badge

Replacement Daimler badge close up

Classic car enthusiasts often find it difficult to obtain replacement badges, particularly for rare models. When one dental surgeon needed an engine badge for his Daimler, he solved the problem by taking an impression from the badge on a friend's car. From this, we were able to create a new casting which preserves the sand-cast texture of the original component. Unlike Daimler's badges, which were manufactured in chrome-plated brass, our badge was cast in solid Biosil 'f' cobalt chrome, which should long outlast the car.

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