People love their pets and spend top dollar to treat them. In this case, 3D Systems, the biggest innovator in 3D printing has proven themselves by creating 3D printed prosthesics for animals, in this case a dog with two malformed front paws.
The dog in question is named Derby. It was born suffering from a congenital disease that brought about the malformation of its front paws. He was unable to get about like a normal dog. It was a challenge for the high spirited canine. Along comes one Tara Anderson is rescues dogs and loves animals in general. She took the responsibility to tend to Derby via her volunteer organization called Peace & Paws. This Hillsborough, NH organization and Tara took the lead to find a solution to Derby’s plight.
As luck would have it for Derby, Tara is an employee of 3D Systems. Her expertise brought her to the conclusion that the new 3D printing technology just might be the answer. They called in an orthotist named Derrick Campana of the Animal Ortho Care center of Chantilly, VA.
The team then went to work on engineering prostheses for the dog. They used the Geomagic Capture 3D scanner and the design was imported into the Geomagic Freeform. This is how the prosthetic legs were produced to custom fit Derby’s physical specs. In the meantime, Derby found owners who also joined in on the operation. As with all experimental pursuits, it took several designs before one actually worked and the dog adapted to the prostheses.
This adaptation now allows Derby to get about and since the use of computer design to test new designs is rather easy, the second and third generations of 3D printed prostheses for Derby were much less problematic. The happy news is that the dog can now get around and play and live somewhat of a normal life.
This application of 3D printing is really monumental. It shows that the ever growing industry can be sued for any number of beneficial purposes and in years to come there will be even far more astonishing applications of these technologies. Derby the dog’s situation can now be used to help other animals with birth defects or injuries and help human beings as well.
Prostheses that are tailor made for a person is now much easier thanks to 3D scanning and printing. As more doctors get on board the costs and time involved should be considerably shorter and less a burden on all involved.