rhino hornsPoaching is a serious problem especially when the animal being hunted is on the verge of extinction. Now we’ve seen different ways technology has been used to curb poaching, but here’s a new and potentially good idea. A biotech firm in San Francisco has recently revealed that they have successfully printed 3D rhino horns.

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This is more than just 3D printing the shape of the horn, but rather a semi-recreation of sorts thanks to the use of keratin and DNA extracted from the rhinos. From there, the firm managed to 3D print horns that contain the same genetic fingerprint as actual horns, and they plan to flood the Chinese market with these “fake” horns.

The goal is to dilute the market to the point where these horns stop being valuable which will hopefully lead to poaching being curbed. Either that or customers end up with fake rhino horns and become put off enough to stop trying to buy the real deal. We suppose the flipside is that it makes the actual horns even more desirable amongst the fakes, thus raising prices and demand for them.

In any case we suppose it is still a good effort and we wonder how it will turn out. If anything it also goes to show how far along we’ve come with 3D printing where we can even print semi-realistic animal parts, along with instruments and even supercars!

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