Derby, the pooch was born with deformed front legs and no front paws. He was unable to move and run like other dogs. He had limited mobility and could only move around on soft surfaces. However, Derby’s life changed when he was fostered by Tara Anderson, a 3D systems employee. 3D Systems is a 3D design and printing company.
How The Prosthetics were Made?
An orthotist specializing in animals and a team of designers from 3D Systems helped in creating a custom pair of prosthetics for Derby so that he could move around freely. Earlier, a front-body wheeled cart was used for his movement, but it was not enough for running.
Different materials were used to 3D print the prosthetics which were made to fit Derby’s legs perfectly. The prosthetic is rigid but his legs are placed in rubber cups. The prosthetics were printed within a few hours using an industrial-grade 3D printer, a ProJet 5500X.
The front legs are low and Derby has to lean forward a bit while moving with his prosthetics. The design has been made in this way so that the change from movement of non-functioning legs to raised legs is less dramatic.
A curved set of prosthetics was developed so that the pooch’s legs remain cradled, they allowed movement and could be used on different terrains. With the new set of prosthetics Derby is now a happy dog and is running around freely for the first time in his life.
Not a First
However, the use of 3D printing to provide help to a dog is not new. With 3D printing technology a custom wheel chair was created for a little dog named TurboRoo, who was also born without his front legs.
The technology use is not just limited for dogs; humans have also made use of it to create an Iron Man-style hand, sized for a child and also to create fingertips.
With Derby’s example, it is clear how 3D printing is changing our lives, whether it is for two-legged or for four-legged creatures. In the coming years, we can expect more such useful innovations being developed with 3D printing.
What’s your thought?
Do you think 3D printing has the potential to change our lives? In what other ways can this technology be used? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Image Source – goodnewsnetwork.org
Article Source – cnet.com